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Eurozone inflation holds steady at 2.2 percent

Friday - 1/4/2013, 5:12am  ET

In this photo taken Dec. 21 2012, a women crossing the street is reflected on the window of a women's wear traditional shop in Lisbon's Baixa neighborhood. The downtown district, called the Baixa, was rebuilt after the 1755 quake in what for Portugal is a rare gridiron pattern. Many old-fashioned stores, as well as modern international chains, line the streets. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

BRUSSELS (AP) -- Inflation across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro was unchanged at 2.2 percent in the year to December.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, did not provide further details in its estimate released Friday. More information will be provided in a second estimate to be published later this month.

Inflation in the eurozone remains above the European Central Bank's target of keeping the annual rate of price rises "just below 2 percent."

The ECB holds its first policy meeting next Thursday. It is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.75 percent even though the eurozone economy as a whole is back in recession.


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