Inflation pressures in the eurozone remained subdued in January as consumer prices (CPI) eased in line with expectations, official data confirmed on Friday.
As previously stated in preliminary estimates, consumer price inflation in the 19-nation currency bloc eased to an annual rate of 1.3% in January, from 1.4% in December, its slowest rate since July 2017.
The lowest annual rates among the eurozone countries were seen in Cyprus - which is suffering a bout of deflation, with prices falling 1.5%; Greece, with CPI at just 0.2%; and Ireland at 0.3%. The highest rates were in Lithuania and Estonia - both with annual inflation rates at 3.6%.
European Central Bank
The report confirmed that eurozone inflation continued to fall away from the European Central Bank's target rate of 2%. Policymakers at the bank, who meet in less than two weeks, had been expecting further easing in price pressures in the coming months.
Indeed, as the ECB predicted, energy inflation dipped - to 2.2% in January from 2.9% in December - while food, alcohol and tobacco prices eased to 1.9% from 2%.
"Inflation pressures in the euro area remained weak at the start of 2018," said Claus Vistesen at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
"Energy inflation probably fell again in February, but base effects mean that it will rise in coming months, peaking at about 6% over the summer, assuming unchanged oil prices," Vistesen added.
The euro was weaker against its main rivals, down 0.15% to $1.2311 versus the dollar and falling 0.28% to £0.8813 against the pound.