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Eurozone annual inflation slips to 1.3% in January

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Eurozone annual inflation slips to 1.3% in January

Annual inflation in the eurozone was confirmed at 1.3% in January, down from 1.4% in the prior month, and core inflation ticked up to 1.0% from 0.9%, in line with the prior estimate, according to final data from Eurostat.

The European Central Bank wants to keep headline inflation below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.

Participants at the latest ECB meeting showed support for the current pace of monthly asset purchases, at €30 billion, but a policy split about how to approach the continuation of quantitative easing was evident in minutes of the January meeting released Feb. 22.

The minutes show that some members wanted to drop the easing bias on the asset purchase program and shift to a much more neutral stance. However, it was decided that such an approach would be premature.

The euro was down 0.14% to $1.2313 at 5:36 a.m. ET after the latest data provided no additional information for a more hawkish central bank stance.

Price increases in the services sector led the inflation growth in the euro area in January, followed by prices of food, alcohol and tobacco, energy and nonenergy industrial goods.

The monthly rate of inflation fell 0.9% in January.