Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Eurozone inflation rises to 0.9%

Fuel pump at petrol station in Dresden, Germany
Petrol prices have been rising in the eurozone

Inflation in the eurozone increased in December, official figures have shown, thanks largely to rising oil prices feeding through to petrol pumps.

Consumer prices in the 16 eurozone countries were up 0.9% in December, the Eurostat agency said.

That marks a rise from the 0.5% rate of inflation recorded in November, but is still significantly below the 2% target set by the European Central Bank (ECB).

On Thursday, the ECB decided to keep interest rates on hold at 1%.

Oil effect

Increases in the cost of fuel were responsible for almost half of the rise in inflation, Eurostat said.

Oil prices have doubled in the last 12 months to reach almost $80 a barrel, feeding into prices at the pumps.

The EU also reported a continued trade surplus for the eurozone.

Exports were worth 4.8bn euros (£4.2bn) more than imports in November, it said, with imports falling 15% while exports dropped 6% over the year.

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