Brussels (AFP) – Eurozone inflation was stable at 1.5 percent in September, still well below the European Central Bank’s 2.0-percent target, official EU figures showed Friday.
The figure published by the EU statistics agency Eurostat was lower than analysts’ predictions, with data company Factset having estimated a 1.6-percent rise.
Observers are watching for signs the ECB will wind down its mass bond-buying, designed to infuse cash into the economy and drive eurozone inflation towards the 2.0-percent target, which is believed to be most favourable to growth.
ECB President Mario Draghi has said policymakers will likely make a move in October and analysts Capital Economics said the latest data were unlikely to knock him off that course.
“With the economy performing well and core inflation likely to rise over the coming years, today’s data won’t be enough to change the ECB’s mind about the appropriate path of monetary policy,” Capital Economics said in a note to investors.
They added that the ECB may also strengthen its guidance to say interest rate rises are still a long way off.
Core inflation in the eurozone — not counting energy, food, alcohol and tobacco — slowed from 1.2 percent to 1.1 percent, a three-month low.
The ECB has predicted inflation in the 19-nation single currency zone will slump in early 2018 before returning to an upward path towards the 2.0-percent target later in the year.