Eurozone inflation slows in May

Euro zone consumer prices grew slower than expected in May, though remained well above the European Central Bank's target, data showed, while unemployment held steady in April for the third month.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat estimated that inflation in the 17 countries using the euro was 2.7 per cent year-on-year in May, down from 2.8 percent in April.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected inflation to stay at 2.8 per cent year-on-year.

The ECB wants to limit price growth to below, but close to TWO per cent over the medium term.

To stem inflationary pressures in the euro zone from the sharp rise in commodity prices, the ECB raised interest rates in April by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent and many economists expect it will increase borrowing costs again in July.

Eurostat also said the unemployment rate in the euro zone was unchanged at 9.9 per cent of the workforce in April for the third month, despite small declines in the number of jobless in Germany, France and Italy.

Eurostat said that £15.529m people were without jobs in the euro zone in April, 115,000 fewer than in the previous month and 457,000 fewer than a year earlier.