European inflationary pressures ease
Annual inflation in the 17-member eurozone fell to 2.5 per cent in July, data released Wednesday showed, as a result giving the European Central Bank room to move on interest rates, DPA reported.
The data, published by the European Union statistics office Eurostat, confirm preliminary inflation figures released last month. This compared with 2.7 per cent in June.
The decline in inflation followed signs of slower global growth and lower energy prices, which surged earlier this year on the back of unrest in the Arab world.
Despite the July fall, consumer prices remain uncomfortably above the ECB's annual target limit of 2 per cent.
The fiercely anti-inflationary ECB has already raised interest rates twice this year. Its benchmark refinancing rate now stands at 1.5 per cent.
However, the recent turmoil on financial markets combined with evidence that the eurozone economy has lost momentum have cast doubt on whether the ECB can press on with a rate-hiking cycle.
But falling consumer prices might give the ECB some room to move in stepping back from further rises in the cost of money.
Inflation in the 27-member EU also nudged down to 2.9 per cent in July from 3.1 per cent in June. A year earlier it stood at 2.1 per cent.