Eurozone producer prices increased steadily in August month-on-month as was expected, yet they are still lower than August 2019, with unemployment also rising as was forecast for the fifth straight month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed on Thursday.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, stated that producer prices in the 19 countries currently sharing the euro rose by 0.1% month-on-month in August, leading to a 2.5% decline from the previous year.
Forecasts from economists polled by Reuters showed that economists had expected the 0.1% monthly rise and had forecasted a 2.7% annual fall instead.
The monthly increase and the year-on-year fall mainly came as a result of volatile energy prices.
Apart from energy prices, the prices at factory gates were consistent month-on-month, and were also 0.4% less than the previous year.
Such producer prices highlight the trends in consumer prices that the European Central Bank wants to keep growing below, but still relatively close to 2% over the course of the medium term, but which trends have undershot that target for numerous years.
ECB President Christine Lagarde gave hints over a possible change of strategy, possibly allowing inflation to overshoot the target after it has been low for too long.
In a separate report, Eurostat also said that eurozone unemployment rose to 8.1% of the workforce in August from the 8.0% in July, thus continuing the upward trend in unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn that it has brought about.
Eurostat added that 13.188 million people were without jobs in the eurozone during August, which tally up to 251,000 more than there were in July.