Inflation in the eurozone slipped again in September.
Annual consumer inflation in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.3 percent.
It has not been that low since October 2009.
Much of that was down to falling energy costs, but core inflation, which does not include volatile energy and food prices, also slid. That was 0.8 percent, falling from 0.9 percent in August, and back at levels seen in June and July.
The 0.3 percent reading – which was unchanged from Eurostat’s earlier flash estimate – was expected by economists.
But five countries – including the bloc’s third largest, Italy – suffered deflation during the month, underscoring the depressed state of household demand.
Inflation has now been in the European Central Bank’s “danger zone” of below 1.0 percent for 12 consecutive months. The ECB’s target is for inflation of around 2.0 percent.
At the same time we learned from Eurostat that eurozone exports in August fell 3.0 percent on an unadjusted, annual basis and slipped 0.9 percent compared to July, adjusted for seasonal swings.
The bloc’s exports to the rest of the world have been one of the economy’s few strong points since its 2009-2012 debt crisis damaged local demand and business confidence, but a slowing Chinese economy and the crisis in Ukraine are taking their toll.
The numbers offer little hope for a region trying to avoid its third recession in six years.