The annual inflation rate in the Euro Area came in at 1.6 percent in December 2018, unchanged from the preliminary estimate and below November's final reading of 1.9 percent. It was the lowest rate since April.
Prices increased at a slower pace for energy (5.4 percent vs 9.1 percent in November) and processed food, alcohol & tobacco (1.7 percent vs 2 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was unchanged for services (at 1.3 percent) and non-energy industrial goods (at 0.4 percent); and picked up for unprocessed food (1.9 percent vs 1.8 percent).
1/17/2019 10:16:08 AM
Among Eurozone's largest economies, the highest annual rate was registered in France (1.9 percent), followed by Germany (1.7 percent), Spain (1.2 percent) and Italy (1.2 percent).
Annual core inflation, which excludes volatile prices of energy, food, alcohol & tobacco and at which the ECB looks in its policy decisions, stood at 1 percent, the same as in November and in line with early estimates.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were unchanged in December as widely expected by markets, after a 0.2 percent drop in November. A firm increase in prices of services (0.9 percent) and unprocessed food (0.4 percent) was offset by declines in costs of energy (-3.2 percent), processed food, alcohol & tobacco (-0.2 percent) and non-energy industrial goods (-0.2 percent).