Sagging growth, inflation build case for Europe rate cut

July 31, 2019 - 2:47 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Official figures show inflation and growth have sagged in the eurozone, adding to the case for the European Central Bank to add another blast of monetary stimulus at its September meeting.

The European Union statistics agency said Wednesday that growth halved in the second quarter, to 0.2%. Inflation in July fell to an annual 1.1% from 1.3% in June. The inflation figure is well below the ECB's goal of just under 2% considered best for the economy.

The ECB is moving toward more stimulus even as unemployment — at 7.5% in June — hit its lowest rate since July 2008. Risks to growth, however, from the U.S.-China trade conflict have led the ECB as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve to lean toward cutting interest rate benchmarks.