BRUSSELS Feb 28 Euro zone inflation stabilised
in what the European Central Bank has called the "danger zone"
in February, data showed on Friday, while unemployment remained
stuck near record highs ahead of an ECB policy meeting next
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat estimated
that consumer prices in the 18 countries sharing the euro rose
0.8 percent year-on-year this month. That was the same rate as
in January and December, after readings of 0.9 percent in
November and 0.7 percent in October.
ECB President Mario Draghi has warned of the risk of
inflation getting stuck in a danger zone below 1 percent, but
said again on Thursday that there was clearly no deflation.
February's inflation rate was stable because lower energy
costs were offset by more expensive industrial goods and
But so-called core inflation, which excludes the most
volatile components like energy, food, alcohol and tobacco
prices, continued to inch higher, to 1.0 percent year-on-year
from 0.8 percent in January and 0.7 percent in December.
Price pressures in the euro zone economy are low because
unemployment remains stuck close to record highs. Eurostat said
on Friday that 12 percent of the bloc's workforce was unemployed
in January, unchanged from a month before.
In absolute terms, the number of people without jobs edged
higher to 19,175,000 from 19,158,000 in December, it said.