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Inflation eases in Europe

BRUSSELS, March 15 (UPI) — The inflation rate dropped to 1.8 percent in the eurozone and to 2 percent in the larger European Union, official data agency Eurostat said Friday.

Eurostat said inflation slowed from 2 percent in January in the 17-member currency zone known as the eurozone and from 2.1 percent in the 27-member EU.

A year ago, inflation stood at 2.7 percent in the Eurozone and 2.9 percent in the EU, Eurostat said.

The lowest annual rate among EU member states in February was in Greece, with an inflation rate of 0.1 percent. Portugal’s rate was 0.2 percent. In Latvia, it was 0.3 percent.

The highest rates were in Romania at 4.8 percent, Estonia at 4 percent and the Netherlands at 3.2 percent.

In the eurozone, the annual inflation rate for all items minus seasonal food and energy was 1.5 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January.

By itself, the inflation rate for energy was steady at 3.9 percent from January to February. For food, alcohol and tobacco, the inflation rate shifted from 3.2 percent in January to 2.7 percent in February.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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