Euro-inflation is picking up - but there's still plenty for the ECB to worry about

The bank has been maxing out its stimulus tools...

Euro-inflation is picking up - but there's still plenty for the ECB to worry about

In this file photo, the Euro sculpture stands in front of the European Central Bank, right, in Frankfurt | Image: Michael Probst / AP/Press Association Images

Inflation across the eurozone doubled in September, creeping up to 0.4% as decreases in energy prices slowed. This was its highest level in more than two years.

It was up from an annual inflation rate of 0.2% in August - but it remains far from the target rate of 2%.

Despite the efforts of the ECB to stimulate activity across the eurozone's economy, domestic drivers of inflation in the bloc associated with job creation and increased consumption remain muted.

Core inflation, an ECB metric which excludes the volatile food and energy categories was 0.8%, just shy of the 0.9% expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

Eurozone officials are running out of ammunition to help economic activity to increase in euro countries. The ECB is already pumping €80bn into the economy each month through its asset buying programme. Interest rates have also been cut to zero and banks have been offered free loans.

Another set of figures from Eurostat showed that unemployment in the euro area increased by 8,000 between July and August.

Eurostat estimates that 21 million men and women in the EU's 28 nations, of whom 16 million were in the euro area.