Consumer prices across the 16 countries that use the euro
rose at the fastest pace in 20 months in July, bringing inflation back in line
with the European Central Bank's definition of price stability.
Analysts said inflation should be relatively steady in the months ahead,
given the large amount of spare capacity in the economy, and contained public
expectations of price growth. That makes it most likely that the ECB will keep
policy unchanged at its meeting Aug. 5.
The European Union's official statistics agency Eurostat said Friday that the
flash estimate of the annual consumer price index in the euro zone rose 1.7% on
the year in July, matching economists' forecasts. In June, the consumer price
index gained 1.4%.