December 17, 2018 / 10:25 AM / 3 months ago

Euro zone November inflation revised down to ECB target, October trade surplus falls

A man is seen in front of a sheet of five Euro notes at the opening of the new Central Bank of Ireland offices in Dublin, Ireland April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone headline inflation was at the European Central Bank target in November and the inflation measure crucial for monetary policy decisions eased again after rising the previous month, revised data showed on Monday.

The European Union’s statistics office said consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro eased 0.2 percent month-on-month in November for a 1.9 percent year-on-year increase, revised down from the previously reported 2.0 percent.

The ECB wants to keep headline inflation below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term.

It said on Dec. 13 it would end its 2.6 trillion euro ($2.95 trillion) government bond purchase scheme started four years ago to boost the economy but would keep re-investing cash from maturing bonds for a long time after its first interest rate hike.

Eurostat said that inflation excluding energy and unprocessed food — a measure the ECB calls core inflation and looks closely at in policy decisions — eased 0.2 percent month-on-month for a year-on-year 1.1 percent rise against 1.2 percent in October.

Separately, Eurostat said the euro zone’s trade surplus with the rest of the world was 1.4 billion euros in October, down from 17.8 billion a year earlier as exports jumped 11.4 percent year-on-year in October while imports surged 14.8 percent.

The change was mainly due to a higher trade deficit in energy, of which the European Union is a net importer, increasing the EU’s trade deficit with its main energy suppliers Russia and Norway.

($1 = 0.8818 euros)

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Robin Emmott

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