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Eurozone Inflation Simmers

LONDON - Inflationary pressures in the euro area crept up in January, indicating a cyclical upswing in prices, according to a forward looking indicator from the Economic Cycle Research Institute published on Friday.

New York-based ECRI said its Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge (EZFIG) rose to 89.2 in January from 87.9 in December, pushed up by increasing inflationary pressures in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

"With the EZFIG climbing to a 13-month high in its latest reading, inflation in the euro zone is likely to remain in a cyclical uptrend," ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan said.

A first estimate from the European Union's statistics office on Tuesday showed prices rose by a smaller-than-expected 0.9 percent year-on-year in February, compared to 1.0 percent in January, still well below the European Central Bank's 2.0 percent target ceiling.

Data released on Thursday confirmed the 16-nation bloc's economy grew by just 0.1 percent in the last 3 months of 2009 and the ECB left interest rates at their record low of 1.0 percent.