Euro-Zone Inflation Steady At Annual 1.9% In May

By Bridge News Euro-zone annual consumer price inflation was unchanged in May at 1.9%, although strong increases in energy prices continued to exert upward pressure on inflation in many of the countries participating in the single currency, the Eurostat statistics agency said June 19. The inflation rate lies within the European Central Bank's operational definition of price stability. Monthly consumer price inflation for the euro zone also was stable at 0.1% in May, the same as last month's figure. Euro-zone energy prices in May were up 12.2% compared with May 1999 and with a rate of 10.5% in April. Eurostat's core rate, which strips out the effect of price increases for energy products, seasonal food, alcohol, and tobacco, fell to an annual rate of 1.1% in May from a rate of 1.3% in the year to April. Annual inflation rose in eight of the 11 countries in the euro-zone, falling only in Germany, Luxembourg, and Austria.

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