After months of falling prices, the cost of living in the euro area rose again for the first time at the start of the year.
In January, consumer prices rose 0.9 percent within a year, as the European statistics agency Eurostat announced on Tuesday, confirming an initial estimate.
One of the reasons for the increase is energy prices, which fell less sharply than in previous months. In addition, the withdrawal of the temporary VAT reduction made itself felt in Germany. In December and in the three months before, the cost of living had fallen by 0.3 percent each.
With the new inflation data, the European Central Bank (ECB) has come a little closer to its target of just under two percent inflation, which it considers optimal for the economy. The monetary authorities have missed their target since spring 2013. Most recently, the second wave of pandemics and renewed tough lockdown measures in the euro countries had slowed economic activity and thus inflation development.
Energy was 4.2 percent cheaper in January. In December, energy prices had fallen by 6.9 percent. By contrast, non-energy industrial goods prices rose 1.5 percent after falling 0.5 percent in December. Services rose 1.4 percent in January.