Eurozone inflation climbs to highest rate since July

Chris Papadopoullos
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Mario Draghi will take some comfort in the fact inflation appears to have bottomed out (Source: Getty)

Annual inflation in the Eurozone rose to 0.2 per cent in December, according to figures released this morning.

December's inflation rate is the highest since July with November's inflation rate revised down to 0.1 per cent from 0.2 per cent. The figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, confirm an earlier estimate of inflation published earlier this month.

The rise in inflation was due to a slower decline in energy prices, which were 5.8 per cent lower in December than the same month in 2014 – a smaller decline than November's 7.3 per cent.

A less steep drop in energy prices was partially offset by a smaller rise in services prices and food prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices and gives and indication of where inflation could go in future, remained at 0.9 per cent.

While the inflation rate, as measured by the year-on-year change in the harmonised consumer price index (HICP) has ticked up, it remains below the European Central Bank's (ECB) target of just below two per cent.

The ECB ramped up its stimulus measures last month in a bid to fend off below-target inflation. It will now purchase €60bn of mostly government debt until March 2017 as part of its quantitative easing programme launched in March last year.

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