Eurozone inflation stood at 0.1 percent in November
Brussels - AFP
Eurozone inflation remained unchanged at a lower than expected 0.1 percent in November, official data showed on Wednesday, giving further encouragement to the European Central Bank to pump up its stimulus.
ECB president Mario Draghi is widely expected to boost the central bank's contested bond-buying programme on Thursday given low inflation levels across the 19 countries that share the euro.
The data from the EU's Eurostat statistics agency came in lower than analysts' forecast of 0.2 percent inflation for the period, which is much lower than the ECB's official two percent target.
In March, the ECB launched a more than one-trillion-euro stimulus plan running through to September next year in order to snap a long period of low or negative inflation in the eurozone.
Inflation in November was dragged down by energy prices, led by oil, but this drop slowed to 7.3 percent annually instead of 8.5 percent the previous month, the data showed.
Draghi on November 20 said the bank will "do what we must" to lift inflation as quickly as possible.
Central bankers of the 19-member eurozone are keen to fight falling prices because they can be poisonous for the economy, creating a vicious circle of falling demand and fewer jobs.
While falling prices might appear to be good for consumers, deflation can become entrenched if consumers delay purchases in the hope of lower prices later, which in turn prompts companies to hold off investment.