Consumer prices fell across the Eurozone for the third month running in February, according to a flash estimate. However, the rate inched up on the previous month.
Annual consumer price inflation was -0.3 per cent, mildly better than the -0.4 per cent economists had forecast, the European Union's statistics agency said. This follows a fall of -0.6 per cent in January.
The laggards were energy prices, which fell to -7.9 per cent, while non-energy industrial goods dropped by 0.2 per cent. However, services rose 1.1 per cent, while food, alcohol and tobacco prices jumped 0.5 per cent.
But core inflation, which takes away volatile sectors prices such as food and energy, came in at 0.6 per cent.
The European Central Bank is preparing to launch its €1.1 trillion bond-buying programme unveiled earlier this year, which it hopes will ward off deflation and drive economic growth in the ailing region.
The number of unemployed people fell across the single currency bloc fell by 140,000 to 18.059m in January. Eurostat said this pushed the unemployment rate down for the third consecutive month to 11.2 per cent.