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Inflation in eurozone hits 2.7pc as housing costs add pressure

Eurozone inflation reached 2.7pc in February, detailed official figures showed yesterday, although the biggest economies in Germany and France posted lower figures.

The rate given by the European Union's data agency marked the 15th month running during which inflation exceeded the European Central Bank's target of below but close to 2pc, having peaked at 3pc in September of last year.

France and Germany each posted 2.5pc annual inflation, with the figure down to 1.9pc in Spain, where new austerity measures are kicking in.

Transport and housing costs put the biggest pressures on inflation, the data showed.

Economic expansion in Group of 20 countries slowed in the fourth quarter, according to a new statistical series published by seven international institutions.

Data

Meanwhile, gross domestic product in the G-20 nations rose 0.7pc in the final three months of 2011 from the previous quarter, when it increased 0.9pc, according to the data released in Paris and Washington yesterday by the IMF, the Bank for International Settlements, the European Central Bank, Eurostat, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations and the World Bank.

G-20 growth of 2.8pc for the whole of 2011 showed "a marked deceleration compared with the 5pc growth in 2010," the institutions said.

"The G-20 GDP aggregate masks diverging patterns among the world's largest economies."

The G-20 is composed of industrial and emerging economies and accounts for about 85pc of the world economy.

While the US returned to growth and India and Indonesia expanded strongly, the European Union and Japan contracted in the same period, the report showed. China's economic growth slowed to 2pc from 2.3pc in the third quarter.

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