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Euro-zone Dec. annual inflation confirmed at 2.2%

Euro-zone Dec. annual inflation confirmed at 2.2% (by William L. Watts)

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Consumer inflation in the euro zone accelerated in December to rise at a 2.2% annual pace, the highest level in more than two years and above the European Central Bank's target, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said Friday, confirming an earlier estimate. The annual inflation rate rose from 1.9% in November, while December monthly inflation rose 0.6%. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet on Thursday sent the euro soaring after warning that the central bank would be vigilant on inflation, although he also emphasized that policy makers saw the recent pickup in inflation as a temporary phenomenon driven by energy and commodity prices. The euro (CUR_EURUSD) was up 0.1% in recent trade versus the dollar to change hands at $1.3362.

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Euro-zone Dec. annual inflation confirmed at 2.2%