Eurozone inflation slows further

BRUSSELS: Inflation in the eurozone slowed to 1.0% in July, official data showed Monday, sliding further away from the European Central Bank’s target of just below 2.0%.

Revised figures from the Eurostat agency showed prices across the 19-nation single currency area showed inflation falling from 1.3% in June and from 2.2% a year earlier.

ECB chief Mario Draghi last month signalled that new stimulus measures could be on the cards to try to shore up stubbornly low inflation, as the skies darken with growing fears over US protectionism, weakness in emerging markets – and Brexit.

Observers are anticipating a “big bang” from the ECB in September with a possible rate cut as well as other measures.

The ECB’s governing council last month left the rate on the bank’s main refinancing operations at zero, on its marginal lending facility at 0.25% and on its deposit facility at -0.4%.

But it hinted rates could fall still further – saying they would be kept at “their present or lower levels at least through the first half of 2020” and said officials had been tasked to look at other options, including “new net asset purchases”.

Across the European Union, inflation was at 1.4% in July, down from 1.6% in June and 2.2% a year earlier.