Euro zone inflation was the same in August as in July year-on-year, defying market expectations of a slowdown as rising prices of unprocessed food and services offset some of the downward pull from much cheaper energy, a first official estimate showed.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said euro zone prices rose 0.2 percent year-on-year this month, the same as in July. Economists polled by Reuters had expected inflation at 0.1 percent year-on-year.
Cheaper energy was the biggest factor lowering the overall index, with energy prices 7.1 percent lower in August than a year earlier. Unprocessed food had the biggest upward impact on inflation as its prices rose 2.3 percent in annual terms.
Excluding both the volatile energy and unprocessed food price -- a measure the European Central Bank calls core inflation -- consumer prices rose 0.9 percent year-on-year in August, the same as in July.