| BRUSSELS, June 30
BRUSSELS, June 30 Euro zone inflation in June
was flat, official data showed on Monday, easing immediate
pressure on the European Central Bank to act again soon to
tackle slow price rises.
The year-on-year June inflation rate in the 18 countries
sharing the euro stood at 0.5 percent for the second month in a
row, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said.
It was the ninth straight month that inflation remained
within what European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has
called a "danger zone" of below 1 percent.
Prices of food, alcohol and tobacco fell by 0.2 percent in
June, while the prices of services rose by 1.3 percent and
energy costs were up by 0.1 percent year-on-year, Eurostat data
Core annual inflation - excluding energy, food, alcohol and
tobacco - rose by 0.8 percent year-on-year in June after a 0.7
percent increase in May.
Earlier this month, the ECB reacted to vanishing price
inflation with a raft of measures, including cutting the deposit
rate below zero and offering long-term loans to banks aimed at
boosting lending to business.
The ECB insists that there is no acute risk of outright
deflation in the 9.6 trillion euro economy. Three countries,
however, experienced deflation in May.
Analysts polled by Reuters said the bank has probably done
enough for now. Some, however, argue that a quantitative easing
programme to 'print money' will be required for any lasting
The ECB lowered its forecast for euro zone inflation in
June, predicting that it would reach 1.4 percent in 2016 - far
off its target of below but close to 2 percent.
The ECB's Governing Council meets again on Thursday.
For a June inflation TABLE, please go to: ...
For more information on this data, please see: here
(Reporting by Martin Santa; editing by John O'Donnell)