Inflation in the Euro-zone has turned negative, official figures have shown, with prices in December 0.2% lower than the same month a year earlier. The tip into deflation adds pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take further action to stimulate the bloc's economy.
French President Francois Hollande and Mario Draghi the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) have agreed that European demand must be lifted to head off a risk of deflation, French officials said.
Euro-zone inflation fell to 0.5% in May, down from 0.7% in April and well below the European Central Bank's 2% target. The fall means the ECB will be expected to take steps to boost growth and counter the threat of deflation when it meets on Thursday.
The European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low at 0.25% on Thursday, but said it remained ready to act in the face of risks to the Euro zone economy, particularly turbulence in the emerging markets, and downplayed deflation.