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Eurozone Inflation Pressures Ease

Euro zone inflation pressures eased in January, falling further below highs in August, suggesting interest rate rises are helping to cool price pressures, the Economic Cycle Research Institute said on Friday.

ECRI's Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge, which forecasts cyclical turns in inflation across the euro bloc, slipped to 104.5 in January from 105.2.

"Eurozone inflationary pressures are subsiding," ECRI said in a report.

Official euro zone inflation has unexpectedly held below the European Central Bank's 2.0 percent ceiling since September, which may take some pressure off policymakers from raising rates again in the very near term.

The ECB increased borrowing costs by 25 basis points to a new five-year high at 3.75 percent on Thursday as unanimously expected and a Reuters poll carried out after that move showed the bank hiking again to 4.0 percent by mid-year [ECB/INT].

The ECB also upwardly revised its inflation forecasts for next year, lending weight to the argument of further moves to come.

ECRI said German inflationary pressures eased to a 10-month low, though there were signs of wage pressures building, and also continued on a downward trend in France.

In Spain, price pressures fell but stuck close to December's 16-month highs. They held steady in Italy.

The euro zone gauge uses a weighted average of ECRI's indices for Germany, France, Italy and Spain...