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Eurozone FIG Falls Further

A key gauge of euro zone future inflation pressures extended its steep fall in January, hinting at even lower inflation in the coming months.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute said its Eurozone Future Inflation Guage fell further to 88.8 in January from 90.4 in December, pulled down by simultaneous falls in the major economies of Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

'Consumer prices in the Eurozone have turned down sharply, as anticipated by the earlier plunge in the Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge (EZFIG). With the EZFIG falling to a new all-time low, consumer prices will keep falling,' ECRI said in a release.

The European Central Bank cut its key interest rate to an all-time low of 1.5 percent on Thursday and stressed inflation was now expected to undershoot the ECB's price stability goal of below but close to 2 percent over 2009 and 2010.

Earlier this week, a flash estimate of official inflation in the euro zone unexpectedly rose in February to 1.2 percent, though still well below the ECB target level.