Business

Eurozone inflation nears four-year low

  • 31 October 2013
  • From the section Business
Euro logo in front of ECB in Frankfurt
Image caption Eurozone inflation has fallen and unemployment risen, pressuring the ECB to cut interest rates

Eurozone inflation in October fell to 0.7%, its lowest since February 2010, thanks to a fall in energy costs.

Official figures also showed the currency bloc's unemployment at another record high in September.

The figures increase pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut interest rates further.

Core inflation, which does not include energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, also fell from an annual rate of 1.4% to 1.1%.

The jobless rate in the 17 euro-using countries was unchanged from August's figure, although that month's rate was revised up to 12.2%.

However, the Eurostat agency said that 60,000 more Europeans were unemployed than in the month before.

Youth

Young Europeans, aged between 15 and 24, have been most affected by the eurozone crisis, particularly in the worst-hit countries, such as Spain and Greece.

The unemployment rate in Germany, the strongest economy among the 17 nations, fell slightly to 5.2% after holding steady for the previous three months.

France, the second largest economy, and Italy, the next largest, saw a small rise in their jobless rates.

European leaders have made tackling unemployment, a key cause of political unrest, a high priority.

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