Euro zone inflation at lowest level in nearly five years

Thursday 31 July 2014 18.35
Greece had the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone last month at 27.3%
Greece had the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone last month at 27.3%

Inflation across the eurozone has fallen to its lowest level since October 2009.

According to figures from the EU statistics agency, prices in the single currency area rose by just 0.4% in July compared to 0.5% in June.

The ECB considers that an inflation rate of below 1% poses a risk of deflation.

Prices have risen at an annualised rate of less than 1% for the last ten months.

The finding will put further pressure on the European Central Bank to introduce new measures to try to lift the bloc out of a low inflation spiral.

The ECB introduced a suite of measures in recent months, including negative deposit rates and a cut in the main refinancing rate to a record low of 0.15%.

It's thought likely that Mario Draghi and his team will wait until closer to the end of the year before introducing any new measures, such as quantitative easing.

The ECB has not undertaken large-scale asset purchases in the same way as the UK and US central banks have.

Euro zone jobless rate falls again

In a separate release from the ECB today, the euro zone jobless rate showed a further decrease.

The jobless rate in the 18-nation bloc fell to 11.5% in June from 11.6% in May, hitting the lowest level since September 2012, the Eurostat statistics agency said. 

Austria had the lowest unemployment rate during the month at 5%, with Germany close behind at 5.1%.

Greece had the highest unemployment rate at 27.3%, while Spain's rate stood at 24.5%.

Ireland's unemployment rate during June was 11.8%, according to Eurostat, down 0.1% on the May figure and 1.8% lower than in June 2013.