July 30, 2020 / 12:27 PM / 5 days ago

German inflation stagnates in July amid coronavirus pandemic

FILE PHOTO: An elderly woman wearing a face mask shops in a supermarket, after the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia decided to make wearing protective masks obligatory in shops and public transportation to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bad Honnef near Bonn, Germany, April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German annual inflation came to a standstill in July due to the coronavirus pandemic, posting its weakest reading in more than four years, preliminary data for Europe’s largest economy showed on Thursday.

German consumer prices, harmonised to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries, stagnated year-on-year after rising by 0.8% in the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said.

The reading compared with a Reuters forecast for 0.4% and was the lowest since May 2016.

On the month, EU-harmonised prices fell by 0.5% in July. A Reuters poll had predicted a drop of 0.2%.

The European Central Bank has a target of keeping inflation close to but below 2% in the euro zone.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin

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