German inflation still over target at 2.1%

Man looks at prices at a German petrol station
Image caption Energy prices, including motor fuels, rose 7.2% at the start of the year

Rising energy prices kept German inflation high at 2.1% in January 2012, according to official figures from Destatis.

The inflation rate compares with 2.3% for the whole of 2011 and 1.1% in 2010. The figures show Germany moving slowly away from its 2008 peak of 2.6%.

The latest result keeps Germany outside the European Central Bank's target rate for eurozone inflation.

The ECB's target rate is close to, but below, 2%.

Excluding energy prices, inflation would have been 1.5%.

Energy prices, including motor fuels, rose 7.2% at the start of the year.

The figures come one day after the European Central Bank's latest monthly interest rate decision.

Rates were left unchanged at 1.0% by the bank in Frankfurt on Thursday, despite hopes from debt-laden southern European countries which had been hoping for a cut in rates to reduce their borrowing costs.

Separately, Italy's industrial production rose by 1.4% in December according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Italian statistical office Istat. However, output was down 1.7% when compared with the same month a year earlier.

In France, industrial production fell 1.4% in December from the month before, according to the French statistics institute Insee.

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