Inflation in eurozone eases in January


OFFICIAL figures yesterday showed inflation across the 17 countries that use the euro unexpectedly eased in January, in a further sign that a waning economy is weighing down on price pressures.

Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said eurozone inflation fell to 2.6 percent in the year to January from 2.7 percent in December. In its previous estimate for the month, Eurostat said there had been no change from December's rate.

The statistics office publishes its first estimate for February today. If it falls further, it may stoke hopes that the European Central Bank may cut interest rates again in the next few months.

The ECB holds its monthly policy meeting next week, and it's likely to keep its key rate at 1 percent.



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