Euro area inflation slows
Euro area inflation slowed in November as energy-price growth eased and the economy remained mired in its second recession in four years.
The annual inflation rate in the 17-nation currency bloc fell to 2.2 per cent, in line with an initial estimate on November 30, from 2.5 per cent in October, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said today. In the month, prices fell 0.2 per cent.
The European Central Bank last week left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75 per cent even as president Mario Draghi said risks for the euro area economy led policy makers to debate a reduction.
The ECB forecasts gross domestic product will fall 0.5 per cent this year and sees inflation for the year at 2.5 per cent.
The core inflation rate, excluding volatile costs such as energy, alcohol and tobacco, dipped to 1.4 per cent in November, today's report showed. Energy costs rose 5.7 per cent after an 8 per cent increase in October.
Two successive quarters of contraction through September in the euro area are weighing on demand and stifling employment, which declined 0.2 per cent in the third quarter after stagnating in the previous three months, a separate report showed today.
Europe's biggest airline, Air France-KLM Group, said on December 10 that it will reduce employee expenses by €400 million and capital spending by a further €500 million euros in the next two years to pare debt and expand profit margins.