BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency remained stable in July, European statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday, but the much watched core inflation metric excluding volatile energy costs and unprocessed food rose.
Eurostat confirmed its earlier flash estimate of annual inflation in the euro zone at 1.3 percent, with price rises excluding energy and unprocessed food, a metric closely followed by the European Central Bank in setting monetary policy, also confirmed at 1.3 percent.
While price rises are still below the ECB’s target of close to but below 2 percent per year, core inflation has increased from 1.2 percent in June and came in above analyst estimates of 1.2 percent in a poll of 29 economists conducted by Reuters.
Other economic data released on Thursday showed that the euro zone’s trade surplus came in ahead of analysts’ expectations at 26.6 billion euros ($31.22 billion) in June.
Eurostat added that exports from the euro zone increased by 3.9 percent in June compared to last year, while imports were up 6.2 percent.
In the first six months of the year, European Union trade rose with all its main partners, most notably with Russia, China and South Korea.
($1 = 0.8521 euros)
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Julia Fioretti