Inflation in Europe Falls to Four-Year Low

Euro-area inflation cooled to the slowest in almost four years in October, moving further away from the European Central Bank’s goal.

The annual rate fell to 0.7 percent, the lowest since November 2009, from 1.1 percent in September, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said in a preliminary estimate today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 42 economists was for the rate to stay at 1.1 percent. Separate data today showed unemployment was at a record 12.2 percent in September.

The data mark the ninth straight month that the rate has been less than the ECB’s 2 percent ceiling, and they prompted BNP Paribas SA and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to forecast an interest-rate cut by the ECB in December. The central bank, which will publish new economic projections that month, has said there is a “subdued outlook” for inflation in the 17-nation euro area.

Bloomberg

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