Eurozone inflation is even weaker than we expected and it's got the ECB scared

Peter Spence
Follow Peter
Weak inflation puts pressure on Mario Draghi to act (Source: Getty)

Today brings the week's most important data point. Annual Eurozone inflation is in - and it's even weaker than economists had forecast.

Prices rose by just 0.5 per cent in the year to May, according to Eurostat's flash estimate, far weaker than the 0.6 expected and the 0.7 per cent CPI reported in the year to April.

Weak demand in the euro area has seen a very weak, disinflationary environment arise, and that's piling pressure on the European Central Bank to do something about it.

We had an idea that Eurozone inflation could be weak, as German inflation numbers seen yesterday were also pretty meek, and they make up a good chunk of the overall figure. Capital Economics said in a preview of the release that "May’s Eurozone consumer prices figures should provide a final nudge for the ECB to take further policy action".

Societe Generale say that weak inflation strengthens their call for bolder action: "combining a rate cut, liquidity injection and a programme of private sector asset purchases".

President Mario Draghi has already confirmed that action is likely, saying last May that the governing council is "comfortable" with action next time. That next time is this Thursday, and we're expecting big things.