Eurozone inflation slows to 2% in November

Eurostat said consumer prices in the 19-country single currency bloc fell to 2.0 percent in November, right at the target level of the European Central Bank.

Eurozone inflation slows to 2% in November

Eurozone inflation slowed in November, official data showed on Friday, lending support to rising fears that economic activity in Europe is cooling.

The EU data agency said unemployment remained stable in October in the euro area at 8.1 percent for the fourth consecutive month, its lowest level since November 2008.

The inflation data lands as the ECB is widely expected to end mass buying of government and corporate bonds, known as "quantitative easing", next month.

Over more than three years it has pumped around 2.6 trillion euros ($2.95 trillion) into the eurozone financial system, aiming to fuel expansion and power price growth towards its target of just below 2.0 percent.

This stimulus programme has largely been deemed a success, but dipping inflation comes after a series of signals that the eurozone economy is slowing just as the ECB boost comes to an end.

ECB chief Mario Draghi on Monday pledged that the end of bond-buying will not leave the economy in the lurch with interest rates set to remain low.

Unemployment meanwhile in the eurozone has fallen steadily since September 2016, when it fell below the symbolic threshold of 10.0 percent. 

However, it is still much higher than the average rate before the 2007-2008 financial crisis, when it stood at 7.5 percent. 

At the worst of the debt crisis, unemployment had reached a record high of 12.1 percent in 2013. 

Among the 19 countries that have adopted the single currency, the lowest unemployment rate in October was recorded in Germany. 

The highest rate was recorded in Greece at 18.9 percent in August, the latest available figure, and Spain at 14.8 percent.

 AFP

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