The final HICP data for June confirmed the 0.1 percentage point dip in headline inflation shown in the flash report. Steady prices on the month put the annual rate at 1.3 percent, in line with its preliminary estimate and the lowest level since December 2016.
However, the core rates were also unrevised and so still signal a useful acceleration in underlying prices. The yearly rate for the narrowest measure, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, climbed 0.2 percentage points to 1.1 percent while without just energy and unprocessed food, inflation was similarly a couple of ticks firmer at 1.2 percent. The third gauge, which omits energy and seasonal food, was also up 0.2 percentage points at 1.2 percent.
Confirmation of the pick-up in the core rates should ensure that ECB Chief Mario Draghi is at least cautiously upbeat in the press conference that follows the Governing Council's policy meeting on Thursday. Nonetheless, the central bank will still want to see evidence that the rise in underlying inflation is both sustainable and a platform for further gains over coming months. Any change in policy rates this week remains very unlikely.
The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) is a measure of consumer prices used to calculate inflation on a consistent basis across the European Union. Changes in the index provide an estimate of inflation, as targeted by the European Central Bank (ECB). Eurostat provides statistics for the EU and Eurozone aggregates, individual member states and for the major subsectors. Over the short-term, the central bank focusses on a number of core measures which seek to strip out the most volatile components and so give a much better guide to underlying developments. Amongst these, financial markets normally concentrate upon the narrowest gauge which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco.
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