November 6, 2017 / 10:00 AM / 18 days ago

Energy costs push up euro zone producer prices in Sept

BRUSSELS, Nov 6 (Reuters) - More expensive energy and intermediate goods pushed up euro zone prices at factory gates more than expected in September, data from the European Union’s statistics office showed on Monday.

Producer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in September for a 2.9 percent year-on-year increase. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4 percent monthly rise and a 2.8 percent annual gain.

Energy prices rose 1.5 percent month-on-month and jumped 4.6 percent year-on-year.

Producer prices herald changes to consumer inflation, because their increase is usually passed on to the consumer.

The European Central Bank wants to keep consumer inflation below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term and is buying government bonds on the secondary market to inject more cash into the economy and stimulate price growth.

But it halved the amount of monthly purchases to 30 billion euros as economic growth picks up. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)

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