Brussels, Oct 16 (IANS) The annual inflation in the 19-country eurozone was confirmed to be at negative 0.1 percent in September, official data showed on Friday, further weighing on its central bank’s massive asset purchasing programme.
The reading is down from the 0.1 percent in August, dipping below zero for the first time since March, Xinhua reported citing Eurostat, the statistic agency of the European Union (EU).
In wider EU, the annual inflation was also negative 0.1 percent in September, down from zero percent in the previous month.
Negative annual rates were observed in 17 member states. The lowest annual rates were registered in Cyprus at negative 1.9 percent, Romania at negative 1.5 percent and Spain at negative 1.1 percent.
The highest annual rates were recorded in Malta at 1.6 percent, and in Belgium, Portugal and Sweden were all at 0.9 percent.
Compared with August 2015, annual inflation fell in 18 member states, remained stable in four and rose in six.
The largest upward impacts to euro area annual inflation came from restaurants and cafes at 0.12 percentage points, vegetables at 0.11 percentage points and tobacco at 0.08 percentage points.
Fuels for transport at negative 0.71 percentage points, heating oil at negative 0.25 percentage points and milk, cheese and eggs at negative 0.06 percentage points had the biggest downward impacts.
September’s decline suggested the zone is far away from the two percent inflation target set by the European Central Bank, which recently has signalled that more stimulus measures would be needed to fuel growth and prop up confidence if the prices further dropped.