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Inflation Simmers in EZ

Inflationary pressure has returned in the 16-nation euro zone, according to a forward-looking indicator published by the Economic Cycle Research Institute on Friday.

New York-based ECRI said its Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge (EFZIG) rose to 89.4 in November from 88.7 in October, pushed up by rising inflation pressure in Germany, France and Italy.

"Inflation in the euro zone has begun to pick up. Meanwhile, the EZFIG reached an 11-month high in November, pointing to the reappearance of inflationary pressures in the euro zone," ECRI said in a report.

Preliminary data released on Tuesday showed euro zone inflation jumped to 0.9 percent year-on-year in December, mainly due to more expensive oil, but still well below the European Central Bank's 2.0 percent target ceiling.

The ECB is expected to leave rates on hold at a record low of 1.0 percent when it meets on Thursday.