Inflation in Germany fell to its lowest level in more than five years in December, official figures have shown.
Germany’s federal statistics office Destatis, said the annual rate of inflation fell to 0.2% in December from 0.6% a month earlier.
That was its lowest level since October 2009.
It comes two days before eurozone inflation figures for December, which some analysts believe will show the currency bloc falling into deflation.
Inflation in the 18-nation currency bloc in November stood at 0.3% according to the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat.
It has been below the Bank’s target of 2%, or just below, since the start of 2013.
A number of other eurozone countries, including Spain and Italy, have already fallen into deflation.
Using the European Central Bank’s (ECB) preferred statistical calculations – the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) – German inflation was even lower at 0.1% in December.
The latest figures will increase pressure on the ECB to begin buying government debt.
After the ECB’s December meeting left interest rates unchanged at 0.05%, the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, said it had “stepped up” its preparations to act if needed, and help prop up inflation in the eurozone.
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