BRUSSELS – Official figures show inflation across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has fallen to its lowest level in over three years.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, says consumer prices rose 1.2 percent in the year to April, way down on the 1.7 percent rate recorded in March and markedly below market expectations for a modest decline to 1.6 percent. The preliminary April rate is the lowest since February 2010.
The fall is likely to pile the pressure on the European Central Bank to cut its main interest rate from the already all-time low of 0.75 percent at its monthly meeting on Thursday.
That pressure is even more acute as Eurostat also reported that unemployment in the eurozone rose to another record of 12.1 percent in March.