BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Consumers prices in the euro zone increased by slightly more than initially forecast in June, data showed on Wednesday, although headline and underlying inflation rates were still below the improvement that policymakers are seeking.
EU statistics agency Eurostat said prices in the 19-country euro zone were 1.3% higher year-on-year in June, compared with a flash estimate of 1.2%. Inflation in May was 1.2%, the lowest rate since April 2018.
On the month, prices were 0.2% higher, slightly more than the 0.1% market forecast, according to Eurostat data released on Wednesday.
The European Central Bank (ECB), whose monetary policy committee meets next week, targets a rate of close to but below 2%.
ECB board member Benoit Coeure said on Wednesday the bank was ready to act if necessary to help inflation move towards that target. The ECB at its meeting last month put off any rate hike for at least a year.
Eurostat said that the core inflation measure the ECB looks at in policy decisions, which excludes the volatile components of food and energy, was 1.3% in June on the year after 1.0% in May. It had earlier estimated the June rate at 1.2%.
A narrower indicator, which also excludes alcohol and tobacco prices, increased to 1.1% in June from 0.8 in May, confirming its earlier estimate.
The revisions follow a slight uptick in the price rise of energy – to 1.7 from 1.6% – and of non-energy industrial goods – to 0.3 from 0.2%. Inflation for unprocessed food ticked down to 0.7% from the initial 0.8% estimate
For Eurostat release, click on:
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Angus MacSwan)