Euro zone inflation was stable in July but its core measure, which is closely watched by the European Central Bank, went up to a four-year high against market expectations of a drop, flash estimates released by Eurostat showed on Monday.
In a separate release, the European Union's statistics office said unemployment in the 19-country currency bloc dropped to its lowest level since 2009, confirming the robust recovery of the euro zone's economy and giving the ECB more ground for tightening its monetary policy in autumn.
Eurostat estimated that consumer prices in the euro zone were stable at 1.3 percent year-on-year in July, the same as in June and in line with forecasts of economists polled by Reuters.
But core inflation, which excludes the two most volatile components of unprocessed food and energy, went up to 1.3 percent from 1.2 percent in June, contrary to market expectations of a drop to 1.1 percent. It was its lowest level since August 2013.
Inflation grew mostly for energy products from 1.9 percent in June to an estimated 2.2 percent in July, as oil prices increased.