Eurozone inflation, jobless rates unchanged

GMT 10:13 2015 Friday ,31 July

Arab Today, arab today Eurozone inflation, jobless rates unchanged

Spain's unemployment rate of 22.7 percent
Brussels - AFP

Inflation in the 19-nation eurozone was unchanged in July while the jobless rate for June was also flat, suggesting the economy maintained only modest growth, official data showed Friday.

Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in July, the same rate as the previous month, the Eurostat Statistics Agency said.

The data matched forecasts by analysts, who had been waiting to see the impact from the European Central Bank's unprecedented economic stimulus programme designed to give the economy a decisive boost after years of tepid growth.

The ECB has an inflation target of just under 2.0 percent.

Underlying inflation, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, rose to 1.0 percent in July from 0.8 percent in June, Eurostat said.

Unemployment meanwhile was unchanged at 11.1 percent in June, it said.

A pick-up in consumer prices is usually evidence of increased demand which in turn should produce more jobs and the figures suggest the economy is bumping along despite the negative impact on sentiment of the long-running Greek debt crisis.

Prices were actually falling in the first three months of the year -- with January down a worrying 0.6 percent, stoking fears of deflation.

Deflation can be a killer for an economy because consumers may put off purchases expecting to buy goods cheaper at a later date but that undermines demand, and then jobs, setting off a vicious cycle.

Eurostat said there were some 17.76 million unemployed in the eurozone in June, up 31,000 from May even as the headline rate remained unchanged.

The June 2014 unemployment rate was 11.6 percent, with some 811,000 jobs gained over the year since then, it said.

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