Inflation in the eurozone rose in December at the fastest pace since 2013, partly driven by a surge in the cost of oil.
Consumer prices were up by 1.1 percent from a year earlier – nearly double November’s 0.6 percent gain.
However core inflation, which does not include more volatile energy and unprocessed food costs, increased only slightly last month, up 0.9 percent on an annualised basis from 0.8 percent in November.
The latest numbers will increase the debate on when is the right time for the European Central Bank to reduce its stimulus efforts.
Germany is particularly keen to see that happen as inflation there rose by a higher than forecast 1.7 percent in December.