An official estimate shows that the annual inflation rate in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, fell to 1.9 percent in May.
The preliminary year-on-year inflation rate reported Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Office compared with a 2.1 percent annual increase in consumer prices the previous month. Economists had expected it to stay unchanged.
The office said that prices were down 0.2 percent in month-on-month terms _ partly because it was the first time this year that fuel prices were lower than the previous month.
Inflation data from Germany are important to monetary policy decisions by the European Central Bank, whose aim is to keep inflation in the 17-nation eurozone just below 2 percent. It has been running above target in recent months.