June 5, 2019 / 9:08 AM / 2 months ago

Euro zone producer prices unexpectedly fall month-on-month in April

FILE PHOTO: Containers are loaded onto a ship at the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands, September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone industrial producer price fell unexpectedly in April from March, data showed on Wednesday, dragged down by a drop in energy prices.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said prices at factory gates in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 0.3 percent in April against the previous month and were 2.6 percent higher than a year earlier.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.3 percent monthly rise and a 3.2 percent year-on-year increase.

Without energy costs, which dropped 1.5 percent month-on-month, producer prices were up 0.2 percent on the month and 1.2 percent higher on the year.

Producer prices are an early indication of trends in consumer inflation, which the European Central Bank wants to keep below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term but has undershot that since 2013.

Separately, Eurostat said retail sales in the euro zone fell 0.4 percent month-on-month in April and were 1.5 percent higher on the year, as expected by economists.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Robin Emmott

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