Cheaper food and fuel pulled down the eurozone consumer price index last month for a fifth month running in annual terms, data showed yesterday, confirming earlier estimates.

Prices in the 16-country area rose 0.2 per cent month-on-month but dipped 0.1 per cent year-on-year, EU statistics agency Eurostat said.

Economists polled by Reuters had on average expected a 0.3 per cent monthly inflation after Eurostat on October 30 estimated the annual fall to be 0.1 per cent. They also expect prices to start growing year-on-year this month.

In year-on-year terms, fuel for transport, gas, heating oil and food had the biggest downward impact on the index. Month-on-month, it was petrol and food.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was 0.3 per cent on the month and one per cent year-on-year, the latter down from 1.1 per cent in September and 1.2 per cent in August.

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