Euro Zone Factory Prices Near Four-Year Low on Energy Slide

A worker at a factory operated by Alcoa.
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A worker at a factory operated by Alcoa.

Euro zone producer prices fell further in April on a sharp decline in energy costs, marking the biggest month-on-month decrease since July 2009, figures released on Tuesday showed.

Prices at factory gates in the 17 countries using the euro declined by 0.6 percent in April from March, the EU's statistics office said. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a decrease of 0.3 percent.

(Read More: The Globalization of Energy Demand)

The year-on-year figure showed a 0.2 percent fall in April, after a 0.6 percent rise in the previous month.

Energy prices in the euro zone dropped by 1.6 percent in April from March - the biggest decline since July 2009 - and making for a fall of 2.0 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Producer prices fell in all core euro zone countries measured on the monthly basis, with Germany showing a 0.2 percent decline, the third monthly fall in a row, and France recording a 0.9 percent drop.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is likely to leave interest rates unchanged at its monthly rate-setting meeting on Thursday - following a 25-basis point cut last month to a record low of 0.5 percent - to see whether economic recovery materializes in the second half of the year as it expects.

The bloc is seen on track for a "very gradual recovery" later this year, driven by the ECB's loose monetary policy and demand from abroad, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Monday.

(Read More: Three Bullets for Draghi as ECB Set to Downgrade Growth)