BRUSSELS, Jan 4 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 04th Jan, 2017 ) : Inflation in the eurozone jumped to 1.1 percent in December, the highest level for more than three years, boosted by rising oil prices, official EU figures showed on Wednesday. The figure was nearly double the 0.6 percent in November and edges inflation much closer to the European Central Bank's target of 2.0 percent as a fragile economic recovery continues. Analysts surveyed by financial services provider Factset had predicted 1.
0 percent inflation for the eurozone, the 19-country area that uses the European single Currency. The last time inflation was at the same level was in September 2013, the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat said. Analyst Howard Archer said the 1.1 percent figure for December 2016 was "more than originally expected but perhaps less than suspected after German inflation jumped to 1.7 percent." Energy inflation was at 2.5 percent but core inflation -- stripped of volatile food and oil prices -- only edged up to 0.
9 percent from 0.8 percent in November, Archer noted. The latest figure was boosted sharply by the rise in energy prices triggered by oil cartel OPEC's December decision to cut output. The eurozone's low inflation rate has been a huge worry for the ECB, whose goal is to keep it near 2.0 percent. Inflation is closely watched as it reflects underlying consumer demand in the economy and is a key sign of whether the eurozone is headed for a full-fledged recovery. ECB chief Mario Draghi has said inflation would reach its target level by 2018 or 2019.