Eurozone inflation modestly higher than first thought

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LONDON (AP) — Official figures show inflation across the 19-country eurozone was modestly higher than anticipated during November, a development that's likely to bring some relief to policymakers at the European Central Bank.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said Wednesday that consumer prices in the year to November were 0.2 percent higher than the year before. That's above the 0.1 percent predicted but still well short of the ECB's target of just below 2 percent.

Earlier this month, the ECB expanded its monetary stimulus as it tries to get inflation back toward its target.

Separately, the financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers' index — a broad gauge of business activity — for the eurozone dipped to 54.0 in December from 54.2 the previous month. Still, the survey points to solid growth.

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