By Muhamed Ali Gurtas
Eurozone consumer prices rose by 1.3 percent on a yearly basis in January, according to Eurostat data on Friday.
Last month, the annual inflation rate among EU19 countries went down by 0.1 percentage point from 1.4 percent in Dec. 2017, while the annual inflation rate in the euro area was 1.8 percent in Jan. 2017.
"In January 2018, the highest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from services, plus 0.56 percentage point," the statistical authority said.
Eurostat noted that services sector was followed by food, alcohol and tobacco with 0.39 percentage point contribution, energy prices with 0.22 percentage point and non-energy industrial goods with 0.15 percentage point.
Official data also showed that the annual inflation rate in the European Union -- including all 28 member countries -- was 1.6 percent in January, down from 1.7 percent in the previous month.
A year-on-year fall in consumer prices was only observed in the Greek Cypriot Administration -- down 1.5 percent -- while the lowest annual increases were recorded in Greece and Ireland with 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
The highest annual rates were recorded in Lithuania and Estonia with a 3.6 percent hike each, and Romania with 3.4 percent.
"Compared with Dec. 2017, annual inflation fell in 21 member states, remained stable in one and rose in six," Eurostat added.
Over the past 10 years, the highest annual inflation rate in the EU was seen in July 2008, with a 4.4 percent rise. The lowest level was recorded in January 2015, at minus 0.5 percent, marking a fall in prices instead of an increase.