German inflation subdued in December

FILE PHOTO: Aerial view of a container terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN (Reuters) - German annual inflation remained subdued in December, data showed on Friday, highlighting the challenge faced by European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde in maintaining price stability in the euro zone.

German consumer prices, harmonized to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries, rose by 1.5% year-on-year after posting a 1.2% increase in the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said.

Despite the acceleration, inflation remained below the European Central Bank’s target level of close to but below 2% for the eighth month in a row.

The reading was higher than a Reuters forecast for 1.4%.

On the month, EU-harmonized prices rose by 0.6% in December. Analysts had expected a reading of 0.5%.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Thomas Escritt