Eurozone inflation back above zero in June, but still low

FRANKFURT – The annual rate of inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro rose to 0.1 per cent in June from below zero, but is still far short of official targets.

The Eurostat statistical agency said Thursday that a recent pick-up in oil prices helped push the reading up from minus 0.1 per cent in May.

The European Central Bank remains far from achieving its goal of inflation just under 2 per cent, considered consistent with a strong economy. The bank has cut its benchmark interest rate to zero and is pumping 1.74 trillion euros ($1.94 trillion) of newly created money into the banking system, steps that should increase inflation.

The eurozone economy grew 0.6 per cent in the first quarter but remains burdened by high unemployment and debt in some countries.