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German inflation back to zero in September 

Berlin, Oct 13 (IANS) German inflation slid back to zero in September after staying in the positive zone for seven months, official data showed on Tuesday, raising strain on European Central Bank’s (ECB) anti-deflation measures.

Consumer prices in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, remained unchanged in September from the same month of 2014, Xinhua cited statistical office Destatis confirming its preliminary calculations late last month.

A lower figure was recorded in January 2015 when consumer prices declined by 0.3 percent year-on-year. The inflation rate revived from the negative territory in February but started to decline again since May and stood at 0.2 percent in both July and August.

Destatis attributed the backslide to decreases of energy prices which slumped by 9.3 percent in September.

“Compared with the last few months, the decrease of energy prices accelerated again,” it said.

Measured with harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), in purpose of comparison to other euro zone countries, German annual inflation already slipped back to negative territory and stood at minus 0.2 percent.

The data raised strain on the ECB which sees an inflation rate of “below, but close to two percent” as healthy in the euro zone.

The Frankfurt-based central bank introduced quantitative easing measures early this year via purchasing government bonds and other securities, but yet to get desirable effects.

In September, the eurozone annual inflation went down to minus 0.1 percent from 0.1 percent in August.

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