Euro-Area Inflation Accelerates to Fastest Rate Since 2014

  • Consumer prices increased 0.4% in September, matching estimate
  • Unemployment held steady at 10.1% in August, Eurostat says

Inflation in the euro area accelerated to the fastest since late 2014 in September, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said on Friday.

Key Points

  • Consumer prices rose an annual 0.4 percent, matching the median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey
  • Core inflation stood at 0.8 percent compared with 0.9 percent forecast and 0.8 percent a month earlier

Big Picture

While inflation in the euro area is slowly ticking higher, it remains far below the European Central Bank’s goal of close to 2 percent and President Mario Draghi has pledged to keep up efforts to boost price growth. With interest rates at a record low and the ECB buying 80 billion euros ($90 billion) a month of debt, Draghi this week renewed his plea to governments to use monetary stimulus as an opportunity to deliver structural reforms and help create a sustainable recovery.

Economist Takeaways

  • “Unless oil prices drop back sharply, headline inflation will climb towards the ECB’s near-2 percent target over the coming months as negative energy effects finally fade,” said Jack Allen, European economist at Capital Economics Ltd in London. “But this will only be temporary, as core price pressures are set to remain subdued.”

Other Details

  • Energy prices fell an annual 3 percent in September, compared with a 5.6 percent decline in August
  • Food, alcohol and tobacco rose 0.7 percent
  • German and Spanish inflation also strengthened this month, according to national data published on Thursday
  • Unemployment in the euro-area in August held steady at 10.1 percent, Eurostat said in a separate statement. Economists predicted it would decline to 10 percent
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