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Euro zone Oct. inflation confirmed slowing to 0.7%, trade surplus up

A fishmonger waits for customers in a local market in central Athens

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone's headline inflation slowed in October, the European Union statistics office said on Friday confirming its earlier estimate, as energy prices fell markedly.

Eurostat also said the 19-country bloc posted in September a larger surplus in its trade with the rest of world, as exports grew more than imports.

Inflation was confirmed at 0.7% on the year, down from 0.8% in September, in line with preliminary estimates Eurostat issued on Oct. 31.

The slowdown was caused by a 3.1% drop in energy prices, which more than offset the 1.5% inflation rate recorded in services and for food, alcohol and tobacco products.

The narrower inflation indicator, which strips out volatile energy and unprocessed food prices and is monitored closely by the European Central Bank, was confirmed at 1.2%, unchanged from September.

Excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, inflation grew 1.1% in October, Eurostat said confirming earlier figures, up from 1.0% in September.

In a separate release, Eurostat said the bloc's trade surplus expanded to 18.7 billion euros (£16.10 billion) in September, up from 12.6 billion recorded in September 2018.

It also grew from the 14.7 billion surplus posted in August.

Despite trade tensions, the bloc increased by 5.2% its export of goods to the rest of the world in September compared to the previous year, more than offseting a 2.1% rise in imports.




(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, editing by Marine Strauss)