Eurozone October inflation revised up

Fruit and vegetables on a stall at the Campo di Fiori food market in central RomeImage copyright
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Inflation in the eurozone has been revised up to 0.1% in October by the EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat.

Prices grew in vegetables, restaurants and fruit in October, while fuel prices were considerably lower than last year.

It had previously given a flash estimate of a zero rate of inflation, saying falling energy prices had offset food price growth.

Prices remain subdued, keeping pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to revise monetary policy.

In October, prices for vegetables rose 9.4% and fruit was 6.2% higher. Restaurant prices were up 1.5%.

The main factor that kept prices from rising further in October remained energy, the cost of which was 8.5% lower than 12 months earlier.

Of the eurozone countries, Cyprus had the lowest October annual inflation rate at -1.8%, while Malta had the highest rate at 1.6%.

Stimulus pressure

Despite the return to positive eurozone inflation, pressure remains on the ECB to ease monetary policy further.

In March, the ECB launched a government bond-buying programme to pump cash into the eurozone economy and accelerate price growth.

The central bank is widely expected to expand its stimulus programme at its December meeting.

In October, the bank said it would “re-examine” its policy, and last week, ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank was ready to extend its policy if needed.

Speaking to the European Parliament, Mr Draghi said: “Signs of a sustained turnaround in core inflation have somewhat weakened.

“We have always said that our purchases would run beyond end-September 2016 in case we do not see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation.”

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