Italian official inflation slows, but less than expected

Italian inflation slowed in October but less than analysts had expected, official data showed on Tuesday, amid concern that weak growth in Europe could cause a deflationary spiral.

Italy's annual inflation was 0.8 percent in October, compared to 0.9 percent in September, the national statistics institute (Istat) said.

Prices were down 0.2 percent on a month earlier.

On Thursday the European Central Bank cut its key interest rates amid concerns that slowing inflation in the euro area could turn into a vicious cycle of falling prices.

The ECB reduced its benchmark "refi" rate by a quarter-point to near-bottom 0.25 percent.

Speculation of a pending rate cut had briefly surged when new data showed eurozone inflation slowing unexpectedly to a four-year low of 0.7 percent last month, raising the spectre of deflation.

Italy has the third-biggest economy in the eurozone.