Eurozone inflation stabilises, unemployment remains high at 12%

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Eurozone inflation stabilises, unemployment remains high at 12%

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Eurozone inflation stabilised in February but did not fall as expected.

Consumer prices in the 18 countries sharing the euro was up by 0.8 percent from February last year.

That is the same rate as in January and December, after readings of 0.9 percent in November and 0.7 percent in October.

Under one percent keeps it in what the European Central Bank calls the “danger zone”.

But February’s trend makes it less likely ECB policymakers will cut interest rates further at their monthly meeting next week.

In addition, so-called core inflation in the eurozone, which excludes the most volatile components like energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, continued to inch higher.

Price pressures in the euro zone are low because unemployment remains stuck near record highs.

As the inflation figures were released by the European Union statistics office Eurostat, it also said that 12 percent of the bloc’s workforce was unemployed in January, unchanged from a month before.

In absolute terms, the number of people without jobs edged higher to 19,175,000 from 19,158,000 in December, it said.