BRUSSELS - Euro zone inflation slowed as expected in November as food and energy price hikes eased, while core inflation readings were below market expectations.
Consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose by 2.0 percent year-on-year in November after a six-year high of 2.2 percent in October, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday.
The decline matched the average expectation in a Reuters poll of economists.
Eurostat said that energy prices rose by 9.1 percent year-on-year, from 10.7 percent in October, while unprocessed food prices were up 1.8 percent, from a 2.1 percent increase last month.
Inflation excluding those two volatile components - the core indicator that the European Central Bank watches in its policy decisions - also fell, to 1.1 percent, against expectations of a slight increase.
Another core inflation reading often watched by economists, which removes all food, energy, alcohol and tobacco prices, also dropped to 1.0 percent. Forecasts were for it to be unchanged at 1.1 percent.
Eurostat's flash estimate does not include a monthly calculation.