By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
Consumer prices in the euro area (EA19) went up 1.1 percent on a yearly basis in February, according to Eurostat data released Friday.
Last month, the annual inflation rate among EA19 countries dipped 0.2 percentage points from 1.3 percent in January, while the annual inflation rate in the euro area was 2 percent in February last year.
"In February 2018, the highest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from services, plus 0.57 percentage points," the statistical authority said, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco, and energy -- up 0.21 percentage points each -- and non-energy industrial goods, up 0.14 percentage points.
Eurostat data said the annual inflation rate in the European Union -- including all 28 member countries -- was 1.3 percent in February, down from 1.6 percent in the previous month.
The EU statistical office said that an annual drop in consumer prices was seen only in the Greek Cypriot administration, down 0.4 percent, while the lowest hikes in year-on-year inflation were observed in Greece (0.4 percent), Denmark, and Italy with 0.5 percent each.
Eurostat noted that the highest annual inflation rates were seen in Romania with 3.8 percent, and Estonia and Lithuania, both with 3.2 percent.
"Compared with January, annual inflation fell in 18 member states, remained stable in two, and rose in seven," it added.
Over the last decade, the highest annual inflation rate in the EU was seen in July 2008, up 4.4 percent. The lowest was in January 2015, at minus 0.5 percent, when prices were in fact dropping.