Brussels: Euro zone consumer prices rose by a smaller-than-expected 0.9% year-on-year in February, a first estimate from the European Union’s statistics office showed on Tuesday, slowing from a 1.0% gain in January.
Economists polled by Reuters had on average expected a 1.0% year-on-year increase. There are no details or breakdown available with the flash estimate.
The European Central Bank (ECB) wants to keep inflation just below 2% over the medium term and will meet to decide on interest rates on Thursday.
Separately, Eurostat said prices at factory gates in the 16 countries using the euro rose 0.7% month-on-month in January and were down 1.0% year-on-year.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.6% monthly rise and an annual decline of 1.1%.
The main factor behind the monthly rise was energy prices, which jumped 2.0% against December. Energy had the biggest downward pull on the annual figure, declining 1.7% year-on-year.
Producer prices are important to the ECB because they show inflationary pressure, or the reverse, early in the pipeline.