Euro zone inflation pressures ease to 34-month low: ECRI

LONDON Fri Feb 1, 2013 5:47am EST

A woman chooses fruits at a market in Lisbon January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

A woman chooses fruits at a market in Lisbon January 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

LONDON (Reuters) - Euro zone inflation is likely to fall as price pressures eased in December to a near three-year low, an indicator designed to predict cyclical trends showed on Friday.

The Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge (EFZIG), published by the Economic Cycle Research Institute, dropped to 92.1 from November's 93.2, as similar national indicators fell in Germany and France but nudged up in Italy and Spain.

"Falling again in its latest reading, the EZFIG reached a 34-month low. Thus, euro zone inflation is likely to ebb further in the months ahead," Lakshman Achuthan, ECRI's chief operations officer, said.

Inflation in the 17-nation currency bloc held steady at 2.2 percent in January, flash data due later on Friday are expected to show. A Reuters poll published last month predicted inflation would fall steadily this year.

(Reporting by Jonathan Cable; editing by Stephen Nisbet)