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Euro zone inflation confirmed as negative in Nov for fourth month

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Full shelves with fruits are pictured in a supermarket during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone annual inflation was negative for a fourth consecutive month in November, matching a four-year low, as energy prices were around 8% lower than a year earlier.

Inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro was down 0.3% both month-on-month and year-on-year, the same annual decline as in September and October and in line with the initial estimates released at the start of December.

Food, alcohol and tobacco added 0.36 percentage points to the final results, Eurostat said, and services another 0.25 points, but an 8.3% year-on-year plunge in energy prices subtracted 0.82 percentage points from the final number.

Non-energy industrial goods also reduced annual inflation by 0.07 points.

Without volatile energy and unprocessed food prices, what the European Central Bank (ECB) calls core inflation, prices were down 0.4% month-on-month and up 0.4% year-on-year.

An even narrower measure that also excludes alcohol and tobacco showed a 0.5% month-on-month decline and a 0.2% year-on-year increase.

The ECB wants to keep inflation below, but close to 2% over the medium term.

Across the euro zone, the highest inflation was 1.1% in Austria. Declines were sharpest in Greece at 2.1%, Estonia at 1.2% and Slovenia and Cyprus both 1.1%.

In the bloc's largest and third largest economies, Germany and Italy, inflation was negative. It was up by just 0.2% in France, the euro zone's second largest economy.

For Eurostat release, click on:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/news-releases

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)