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Italy Inflation At 9-month Low

Italy's consumer price inflation eased in January to its lowest level in nine months, preliminary figures from the statistical office Istat showed on Monday.

The consumer price index climbed 0.9 percent year-over-year in January, slower than December's 1.1 percent increase. The inflation rate was the lowest since April, when it was 0.5 percent.

ISTAT attributed the latest easing in inflation to a slowing in the rise in prices of energy products. Meanwhile, the pace in increase in costs of transport and prices of fresh food accelerated.

Excluding energy and unprocessed food, core inflation slowed to 0.5 percent in January from 0.6 percent in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in January after a 0.1 percent fall in December.

The EU measure of inflation, based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices, eased to 0.9 percent in January, from 1.2 percent in December. Economists had expected 0.7 percent inflation.

Month-on-month, the HICP dropped 1.7 percent, while the expected rate of decline was 1.9 percent. Prices fell mainly due to the winter sales of Clothing and footwear that logged a massive 21.2 percent drop in prices.

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