Christmas holiday spending nudged up prices in the eurozone in December.
The cost of living in the 17 countries sharing the euro had been forecast to fall slightly, but instead it rose more than expected and was up 2.2 percent from a year earlier, the same as in November.
However inflation remains benign enough to allow the European Central Bank to cut interest rates this year, to support the region’s feeble economy.
The price increases were most marked in food and services, which together make up 60 percent of Eurostat’s index, despite a cooling in the rate of energy price rises.
Food and services inflation suggests households spent a little more freely during the holiday season after months of holding back as families and businesses struggle through Europe’s worst economic and banking crisis in a generation.
In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, separate data showed consumer prices in six states climbing much more than expected in December. Germany’s private sector expanded for the first time in eight months in December.
“Travel, hotel and restaurant prices have picked up and this year the rise was a little sharper than on average in past years,” said Ulrike Rondorf, an economist at Commerzbank.
European companies and policymakers alike are anxious for any signs of a recovery in the eurozone’s economy, which is expected to contract in 2013 while the rest of the world’s big economies grow.
- 1Kazakhstan’s currency plunges after central bank abandons USD peg
- 2China’s ‘Black Monday’ a symptom of wider malaise in the world’s second largest economy
- 3Chinese problems lead to plunging markets
- 4The currency war intensifies after China devalues the yuan
- 5European shares tumble as China panics investors
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 3Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine
- 4International news | euronews, latest international news
- 5Video footage shows massive explosion in Tianjin, China
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7Ukraine puts top Russian general Gerasimov on ‘most wanted’ list
- 8Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
- 9Who came out top in the US Republican television debate?
- 10Why World Elephant Day matters
- 11UK: at least 7 dead after plane crashes into road in Brighton
- 12Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 13ISIL militant group claims to have killed Croatian hostage in Egypt
- 14Earth Overshoot Day…Pushing Mother Nature too far
- 15Windows 10, three weeks on: the good, the bad and the ugly
- 16Bringing the trolls out of the dark: Russian ‘troll’ awarded 1 rouble damages
- 17As ‘Daily Show’ Jon Stewart’s tenure ends, scholars say goodbye to their research topic
- 18Momentum for Mars: Astronauts say mission is inevitable
- 19Migrant crisis pushing Greek island of Kos to the limit
- 20Who are the six EU countries with shortest memories on migration?
Wires > Business
- 22:09 CET Lonmin sees full-year cash costs below guidance
- 22:07 CET China official blames Fed for global market rout, not yuan
- 21:20 CET South Africa’s platinum industry ‘extremely ill’ – Lonmin CEO
- 21:01 CET UBS to pay $1.7 million settlement over sanctions case – …
- 20:48 CET French Economy Minister pledges love, reforms, to business leaders
- 20:22 CET U.S. leaning against regulatory relief for three banks in Libor…
- 19:55 CET Google rejects ‘unfounded’ EU antitrust charges of market abuse
- 18:22 CET Huawei brings online smartphone brand Honor to Europe