Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30
Sat-Sun Closed
+356 21244895
Phone
55/1 Giuseppe Calì Street XBX1425 Ta' Xbiex Malta

News

VIRUS IMPACT KEEPS EUROZONE INFLATION NEGATIVE

Pin It

EUEurozone inflation remains doggedly negative, the latest official data showed on Thursday, the fifth straight month it has languished in the red because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Eurostat figures for December gave the 19-nation zone an inflation reading of -0.3 per cent, the same level as in November. It has been negative since August. The reading is well below the European Central Bank’s inflation target level of just under two per cent.

The biggest drag on inflation was energy, which was -6.9 per cent in December compared with -8.3 percent the month before.

The biggest positive component was food, alcohol and tobacco, which rose 1.4 per cent, compared with 1.9 per cent in November.

Overall prices have been brought down by restrictions imposed in Europe to curb a second wave of the new coronavirus.

Curfews, work-from-home orders, mandatory quarantines and travel restrictions have all taken their toll. And in several euro-using countries they have been hardened even further in late December.

Europe’s economy is on the brink of returning to recession after a brief recovery over its mid-year summer period.

Persistently negative inflation is a worry for governments because it can lead to consumers holding off making big-ticket purchases in the expectation that prices will drop later on, creating a spiral that can wound economic activity and employment.

The European Central Bank says that the services sector is bearing the brunt of the economic hit. 

In mid-December it estimated that the eurozone economy would show a 7.3 per cent contraction in 2020. The area would return to 3.9 per cent growth this year, it said, lower than its previous forecast of five per cent.

The bank has deployed a massive bond-purchase scheme worth €1.85 trillion in an effort to boost activity.

logo-black

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TIMES OF MALTA

FOLLOW THE UPDATES ON TIMES OF MALTA

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
© Copyright 2021 MALTESE ITALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. All Rights Reserved.