The annual inflation in the 27-member European Union was 2.6 percent in May, down from 2.7 percent in April. A year earlier the rate was 3.2 percent. The annual inflation in the 17-member euro area was 2.4 percent in May, down from 2.6 percent in April. A year earlier the rate was 2.7 percent. These figures were released Thursday by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In May, the lowest annual rates were observed in Greece and Sweden (both 0. 9 percent) and Bulgaria (1.8 percent), and the highest in Hungary (5.4 percent), Estonia (4.1 percent), Cyprus and Malta (both 3.7 percent). Compared with April, annual inflation fell in twenty EU Member States, remained stable in three and rose in three.