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Euro area growth slows, inflation picks up

Euro area growth slows and inflation picks up

Eurostat data released on Friday showed that euro area growth slowed in the last quarter of 2019, while annual inflation picked up in January.

GDP in the 19-nation region came in at 0.1 percent growth in the three months ended December last year, compared to both prior and excepted readings of 0.2 percent expansion, a preliminary reading showed. Annually, the euro area expanded 1 percent, coming short of expectations of 1.1 percent.

The growth in the euro area was dragged down by contractions in France and Italy, as the former dropped 0.1 percent while the later shrank 0.3 percent.

Another report from the euro area signaled an acceleration in the consumer price index to 1.4 percent in the year ended January, matching forecasts, from 1.3 percent in December.

The rise in inflation was buoyed by a leap in the prices of food, alcohol and tobacco, which rose 2.2 percent year-on-year.

As of 11:26 GMT, the euro traded slightly lower at $1.1028, set for its fifth weekly decline in a row as the spread of the coronavirus reinforced demand on safe havens.

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