As energy prices slide, inflation across the 18-country eurozone dips to 0.3 percent

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Sharp falls in energy prices as a result of the dramatic decline being recorded in oil markets has pushed inflation across the 18-country eurozone down to 0.3 percent in the year to November.

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Preliminary figures from the European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, show that the fall in eurozone consumer price inflation from the previous month's 0.4 percent was largely due to a 2.5 percent decline in energy costs.

The drop takes inflation further away from the European Central Bank's target to keep price rises just below 2 percent. It's likely to maintain pressure on policymakers to launch in the coming months a monetary stimulus similar to the one the Federal Reserve recently brought to an end.

Eurostat also said Friday that unemployment was steady in October at 11.5 percent.