© Reuters. Weaker Euro-Area Inflation Raises Stimulus Pressure on ECB
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Euro-area inflation was weaker than initially reported in July, raising pressure on European Central Bank policy makers to consider more stimulus in September.
Eurostat revised its July estimate for consumer price growth to 1%, down from a reading of 1.1% reported on July 31. It’s the second consecutive revision to inflation data.
The report adds to negative data over the past weeks that may convince officials that bold steps are needed to revive momentum in the euro area. Concerns about a global downturn are deepening, as Germany’s economy shrank in the second quarter while growth in the 19-nation region came in at just 0.2%.
The ECB is already expected to announce fresh measures to jump-start the euro-zone economy when policy makers meet on Sept. 12, with most economists predicting at least a cut in the deposit rate from the current minus 0.4%. President Mario Draghi signaled last month that all options are on the table, including a potential restart of quantitative easing.
Governing Council member Olli Rehn said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week that the ECB should come up with an “impactful and significant” stimulus package at its next gathering.
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