BRUSSELS – The Latest on the European economy (all times local):
Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone eased during April, a development that may disappoint policymakers at the European Central Bank.
Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, said its headline measure of consumer price inflation dipped in the year to April to 1.2 percent from 1.3 percent the month before. Most economists were predicting no change.
That means inflation slipped further away from the ECB's goal of achieving a rate of just below 2 percent.
What's likely to be a bigger concern for rate-setters is that the core rate, which strips out potentially volatile items such as energy and food, fell to just 0.7 percent in the year to April from 1 percent the month before. That fall shows underlying inflation remains very weak.
The European Union is expecting strong economic growth this year and next year but predicts that departing Britain will see tougher times ahead.
The EU says in its spring economic forecast that growth should be a robust 2.3 percent this year and only ease slightly to 2.0 percent in 2019 for both the 28-nation bloc and the 19-member eurozone of members sharing the same currency.
EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis says that "the economic expansion in Europe is set to continue at a solid pace this year and next, supporting further job creation."
The EU says it expects growth in Britain, which is slated to leave the bloc in March 2019, to stand at 1.5 percent and 1.2 percent this year and next.