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Eurozone inflation slows in May; April jobless rate edges down

Annual inflation in the eurozone is expected to be 1.4% in May, down from 1.9% the previous month, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat.

The statistical office expects energy products to have the highest annual rate of 4.6%, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco at 1.5%, services at 1.3%, and nonenergy industrial goods at 0.3%.

ECB President Mario Draghi told lawmakers May 29 that the eurozone requires an "extraordinary" amount of monetary policy support, despite improving economic indicators as underlying inflation remains "subdued." However, policymakers are said to be ready to acknowledge economic growth when they meet June 8 by considering removing a reference to downside risks in the bank's post-meeting opening statement and adding a statement that risks are largely balanced.

The ECB aims to keep annual inflation below but close to 2% in the medium term.

Meanwhile, another release from Eurostat showed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the eurozone stood at 9.3% in April, the lowest level since March 2009. The April rate is down from 9.4% in March and 10.2% a year ago.

The jobless rate in the European Union stood at 7.8% in April, the lowest level since December 2008. The figure is down from 7.9% in March and from 8.7% a year ago. The Czech Republic, Germany and Malta recorded the lowest unemployment rates, while Greece and Spain had the highest rates.