Jun 30, 7:47 AM EDT

Inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro rose to 0.1 in June, up from below zero but still far too weak to reassure the European Central Bank


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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The annual rate of inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro rose to 0.1 percent in June from below zero, but is still far short of official targets.

The Eurostat statistical agency said Thursday that a recent pick-up in oil prices helped push the reading up from minus 0.1 percent in May.

The European Central Bank remains far from achieving its goal of inflation just under 2 percent, considered consistent with a strong economy. The bank has cut its benchmark interest rate to zero and is pumping 1.74 trillion euros ($1.94 trillion) of newly created money into the banking system, steps that should increase inflation.

The eurozone economy grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter but remains burdened by high unemployment and debt in some countries.

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