Euro Area Inflation Declines

The European Union's statistics agency said consumer prices in the 16-country euro area fell 0.1 percent year-on-year in October, after a 0.3 percent decline in September.

The agency will give no monthly figure or a more detailed breakdown until November 16, but economists have said price declines are resulting mainly from cheaper oil and food. Prices will start growing in November, they have said.

The European Central Bank wants inflation to be just below 2 percent and economists expect that in the absence of inflationary pressure it will keep interest rates at record lows of 1 percent well into 2010.

The Eurostat data showed that no strong inflationary pressures were likely to materialise soon as unemployment in the euro zone in September reached 9.7 percent of the workforce -- its highest level since January 1999.

Euro Area Inflation Declines, Reuters
10/30/2009 9:44:21 AM