Euro zone consumer prices grew faster than expected in November, an official estimate showed today, pushed up by a jump in food and services prices despite a slump in energy costs.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose by 1% on the year, accelerating from 0.7% in October. On the month, prices fell by 0.3% in November.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.9% year-on-year gain.
Unprocessed food prices jumped 1.8% year-on-year this month, up from 0.7% in October while energy prices tumbled 3.2% in annual terms, more than the 3.1% fall in October.
But the measure excluding these most volatile components, or what the European Central Bank calls core inflation, accelerated to 1.5% year-on-year from 1.2% in October, beating market expectations of a rise to 1.3%.
An even narrower measure that markets look at and which also excludes alcohol and tobacco prices, also accelerated to 1.3% from 1.1% last month, beating expectations of 1.2%.
Prices in the services sector, which is responsible for more than two thirds of euro zone gross domestic product, accelerated to 1.9% year-on-year from 1.5% in October.
The ECB wants to keep inflation below, but close to 2% over the medium term but has for years failed to boost inflation closer to its target despite ultra loose monetary policy.
Separately, Eurostat said unemployment in the euro zone fell to 7.5% of the workforce in October, the lowest rate since July 2008.
The number of people without jobs in the euro zone last month fell by 31,000 to 12.334 million.