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Eurozone inflation drops back into negative territory

Eurozone inflation has nosedived again, slipping below zero. Fresh data from the European statistics office suggested that recent stimulus measures taken by the ECB were not working as intended.

The European Central Bank had rolled out a range of different policy measures to help get the eurozone economy back on its feet and increase inflation, most recently with a controversial program of bond purchases known as quantitative easing.

ECB chief Mario Draghi insisted earlier this month that the central bank's policies were working. But previous efforts had done little to improve the overall picture, fresh data from Eurostat revealed Monday.

Eurozone inflation fell sharply by 0.2 percent in February, the European statistics agency reported. The figure marked a huge drop from the revised positive 0.3 percent a month earlier and heaped even more pressure on the ECB to come up with new ways of reviving the European economy at the next meeting of its Governing Council on March 8.

Watch video 01:47

ECB expands stimulus

Energy costs down 8 percent

Falling oil prices and slowing economic growth in China and other emerging economies were found to be weighing on the headline rate of inflation in the 19-member area using the euro currency.

The sharp February fall put the eurozone into negative territory for the first time since September, dashing hopes of a speedy pickup.

The worrisome inflation data comes just days after the G20 meeting of the world's top economies in Shanghai warned that leaders needed to

look beyond ultra-low interest rates

and printing money to shake the global economy out of its torpor.

hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)

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