As consumer price growth in the 19-member Eurozone has slightly picked up to 2.2% in October from 2.1% in September.
The European Union’s statistical office’s preliminary report said inflation in the Eurozone remained steady for a fifth consecutive month, close to the 2% target of the European Central Bank (ECB).
As the target is close to being reached, the ECB is slowly putting an end to the quantitive easing stimulus programme that been in place for the last four years. ECB President Mario Draghi expressed confidence that a robust labour market and growing wages will also lift core prices, which will justify a gradual winding down of the monetary stimulus.
In a separate report, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical information agency, said Eurozone’s unemployment in September was flat at 8.1% with 13.153 million people out of work, up marginally from 13.151 million in August.
The ECB’s expectations will be tempered, however, with oil prices near a four-year high in recent weeks and economic growth faltering. Inflation still appears stronger than the ECB’s goal as it continues to rise as growth appears to be slowing down, but Draghi has called the current developments “weaker momentum, not a downturn”.
Temporary factors such as Germany’s car-sector troubles won’t affect the long-term forecasts, Draghi added, saying that even when its asset buys end, the policy will be exceptionally loose, with interest rates still at record lows.