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Eurozone inflation falls to 0.3%, unemployment steady
[BRUSSELS] Inflation in the eurozone slowed to 0.3 per cent in November from 0.4 per cent the previous month, while unemployment remained steady, official EU data showed on Friday, fuelling fears of deflation.
The European Union's data agency Eurostat reported that unemployment remained steady at 11.5 per cent in October, unchanged from September despite a stagnating economy.
Growing concerns about exceptionally low price rises in the 18-country eurozone, which could augur a long period of low growth and falling prosperity, have prompted the European Central Bank to take unprecedented action in recent months.
But the new decrease in inflation put pressure on ECB chairman Mario Draghi to take even further steps to revive the economy.
The ECB is due to hold its monthly meeting next week when it could announce measures of quantitive easing, resulting in a large-scale sovereign bond purchase scheme, a step that has not been taken until now.
"The recovery is still fragile," Valdis Dombrovkis, the European Commission's vice president for the euro and social dialogue, told a press conference.
"Unemployment is still persistently high," he said.
The eurozone unemployment rate was still lower than the 11.9 per cent registered in October last year, according to Eurostat.
Eurozone member Germany registered among the lowest unemployment rates at 4.9 per cent in October, with Spain among the highest at 24 per cent.
In the 28 European Union member states, unemployment stood at 10 per cent in October this year, unchanged from September.
Eurostat estimated that in October 2014, 24.413 million people were unemployed in the 28 member states, including 18.395 million in the eurozone.
That marks an increase of 42,000 in the EU 28, and 60,000 in the eurozone over September 2014.
Compared to October 2013, unemployment fell by 1.549 million people in the EU 28 and by 547,000 in the eurozone.