Brussels: Eurozone inflation in January was weaker than initially estimated, data showed Thursday, heaping further pressure on the European Central Bank to ramp up efforts to boost the economy in Europe.
The EU`s Eurostat statistics agency said it had revised inflation down to 0.3 percent from its initially forecast 0.4 percent for the month, well short of the ECB`s official target of near or just below 2.0 percent.
"(This is) news that the ECB could have done without," said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight.
"The downward revision... reinforces belief that the ECB will deliver more stimulus at its 10 March policy meeting," he said.
ECB president Mario Draghi last month said the bank was "determined" to do everything in its power to steer eurozone inflation higher.
A long series of policy moves by the ECB over the past 18 months has failed to bring stubbornly low inflation back up to levels it considers conducive to healthy economic growth.
But "we are not surrendering," Draghi said.
Draghi disappointed markets in December with a limited bid to revive the struggling eurozone given near-zero inflation levels across the 19 countries that share the euro.
While falling prices might be a short-term benefit for consumers, enduring deflation can prove dangerous to economic growth if consumers delay purchases in the hope of lower prices later, which in turn prompts companies to hold off investment.