Inflation eases in eurozone

Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A preliminary estimate indicated inflation in the eurozone slowed down to 2 percent in January, data agency Eurostat said Friday.

The figure is called a flash estimate and is subject to change as more data become available. For the moment, however, inflation appears to have eased back from a 2.2 percent rate in December to an even 2 percent.

Energy inflation shifted from a 5.2 percent rate in December to 3.9 percent in the advanced figure. Food, alcohol and tobacco prices experienced a 3.2 percent gain in January, consistent with December.

Prices for Industrial goods not related to energy rose at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in January, down from 1 percent in December. Inflation eased for services, with the rate slipping from 1.8 percent to 1.7 percent.

A rate of 2 percent is the top end of what the European Central Bank considers a reasonable rate of inflation. The bank's target is for inflation to hold to 2 percent or lower.

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