- The annual inflation rate in the 19-country eurozone was at minus 0.1 percent in May, official data showed on Thursday, rose marginally from the minus 0.2 percent in the previous month.
A year earlier the rate was 0.3 percent.
In the 28-member bloc EU, the annual inflation rate was also minus 0.1 percent in May, up from the minus 0.2 percent in April, said Eurostat, the statistics agency of the EU.
In May 2015, the rate was 0.3 percent.
In May 2016, negative annual rates were observed in 16 EU member states. The lowest annual rates were registered in Romania, at minus 3.0 percent, followed by Bulgaria with minus 2.5 percent and Cyprus with minus 1.9 percent.
The highest annual rates among EU countries were recorded in Belgium at 1.6 percent, followed by Malta and Sweden.
Compared with the previous month, annual inflation fell in nine EU countries, remained stable in eight and rose in 11.
The details in the final report are virtually unchanged from the flash estimate released at the beginning of the month.
The largest upward impacts to euro area annual inflation came from restaurants and cafes, rents and tobacco, while fuels for transport, heating oil and gas had the biggest downward impacts, Eurostat said.
Economists argued that May's reading stood weaker than expectations but forecast the inflation to climb over in the coming months. The bloc was predicted to get out of deflation in the second half of this year.
Claus Vistesen, Chief Eurozone Economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics predicted that inflation in the Eurozone will rise to a reading between 1.2 percent to 1.4 percent towards the end of the year, helped by higher energy and food prices, and modestly higher core inflation.
The inflation in the single currency bloc unexpectedly fell into negative territory in February and stood at zero in March, raising concerns on the effectiveness of the bloc's stimulus efforts.