In a release, Eurostat said the estimate is unofficial and considered a "flash estimate." Nevertheless, prices are escalating significantly faster than the 1.9 percent annual inflation rate recorded in November, Eurostat said.
The euro zone is made up of 17 member states with Estonia joining the group this week and not included in the estimate.
The flash estimate includes no details or data breakdowns country by country. But the estimate is considered "reliable," Eurostat said, with 21 of the past 24 estimates proving to be spot on and three other estimates off by only 0.1 percent.
Eurozone countries include Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and, as of Jan. 1, Estonia.
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