Eurozone inflation accelerated to two percent in February for the first time since 2013, hitting the European Central Bank's target as its stimulus plans appear to be paying off as consumers put aside Brexit and U.S. uncertainties, EU data showed Thursday.
Meanwhile, unemployment in the 19-country single currency area in January was 9.6 percent, unchanged from December but holding at its lowest rate since May 2009, Eurostat said.
Analysts at Factset had expected two percent inflation after prices jumped 1.8 percent in January following 1.1 percent in December, as the latest figures suggest the economy is continuing to pick up.
The Eurostat statistics service said the last time inflation hit two percent was January 2013.
Inflation is a key indicator of underlying consumer demand and the ECB adopted its two percent target with the aim of ensuring a modest but sustained increased in prices, which is the sign of a healthy economy.
The 2008 global financial crisis brought the euro zone to its knees as governments slashed spending and hiked taxes, crushing demand and putting the economy into recession.
In response, the ECB has poured trillions of euros into the banking system to provide cheap credit for businesses to expand and invest, and help create much-needed jobs. Up to now, however, progress has been slow and there is still much ground to make up - the jobless rate ran at 7.5 percent before the 2008 financial crash.
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