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Eurozone annual inflation slower than expected at 1.2% in May

Annual inflation in the eurozone eased to an estimated 1.2% in May from 1.7% in April, flash data from Eurostat showed.

The estimate missed the Econoday consensus expectations of 1.4%.

Energy prices are believed to have surged 3.8% in May compared with 5.3% the previous month. Food, alcohol & tobacco prices rose 1.6% from 1.5% in April, while services surged 1.1% in May from 1.9% in April.

Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, alcohol and tobacco prices, eased to an estimated 0.8% in May from 1.3% in April.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the bloc was 7.6% in April, down from 7.7% in March and 8.4% in April 2018, according to Eurostat.

The most recent rate reading, which is the lowest since August 2008, came in below the Econoday consensus estimate of 7.7%.

The next policy meeting of the European Central Bank, which has aimed to maintain inflation in the euro area just below 2% over the medium term, will be held June 6.