The euro zone’s rate of inflation remained unchanged in December at 0.2 percent year-on-year, according to preliminary data from Eurostat, below expectations for a 0.3 percent rise.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile prices like unprocessed food and energy, stood at 0.8 percent, year-on-year, below a consensus forecast of 0.9 percent, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
Last month, data from the European statistics agency showed that inflation in the 19 country currency bloc stood at 0.2 percent in the year to November, revised up from an initial reading of 0.1 percent.
The latest inflation data will be food for thought for the European Central Bank. In December, the ECB announced that it would extend the duration and range of assets eligible for purchase within its stimulus program aimed at fending off sluggish inflation and lackluster growth.