Euro zone inflation unexpectedly slipped in April as prices of services increased at a slower pace, data showed on Thursday, raising questions about the European Central Bank's plan for a gradual withdrawal of monetary stimulus.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat estimated that inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro was 1.2 percent year-on-year in April.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the rate to be unchanged from March's 1.3 percent.
Even if inflation remains short of the ECB's target of near 2 percent, its policymakers have been debating whether to end the central bank's 2.55 trillion euro ($3.06 trillion) asset purchase scheme.
A decision on future moves is likely to be communicated in June or July, with September an outside possibility.
Prices of food, alcohol and tobacco, of energy and of non-energy industrial goods all rose at a faster year-on-year pace than in March.