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Consumer prices down 0.1 percent across eurozone in September, first decline since March


BRUSSELS — Official figures show that consumer prices across the 19-country eurozone fell in September for the first time in half a year as energy prices tanked.

The 0.1 percent annual decline reported Wednesday by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, is likely to ratchet up pressure on the European Central Bank to increase and extend its monetary stimulus. The ECB looks to have inflation at just below 2 percent.

The decline was expected following a drop in oil prices. Eurostat said energy prices were down a whopping 8.9 percent in the year to September.

The eurozone previously experienced falling consumer prices between December 2014 and March this year.

Earlier this year, the ECB launched a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) government bond-buying program in the hope of getting inflation back toward target.

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