European core inflation beats expectations

Eurozone inflation stayed still in February, with price growth holding at -0.2% year-on-year. Meaning that prices are still falling, and are a very long way from the European Central Bank’s 2% target.

Analysts were expecting CPI to stay at -0.2%, the same figure as January, and that’s exactly what they got.

However, on a month-to-month basis, prices rose by 0.2% beating the expectation of 0.1% growth.

Year-on-year core consumer prices also rose, gaining 0.8%, again beating forecasts by economists. They’d expected 0.7% growth.

Core prices are an important measure because they strip out the most volatile items — things like fuel and food prices which are subject to massive variations.

A large part of the eurozone’s extremely low inflation right now is down to the slump in the price of oil over the last year — but the core figure shows that other prices aren’t rising by as much as the ECB would like, either.

The CPI figures come exactly a week after the European Central Bank and its president Mario Draghi announced a series of new monetary policy measures, including cutting all its base rates, and extending its programme of bond buying.

The measures are designed to try and boost stalling inflation, as well as growth, within the Eurozzone. So far the ECB’s negative interest rate policy (NIRP) has failed to serve its purpose effectively, however, today’s slight uptick in core CPI will give the bank something of a boost.

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