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Italian official inflation slows, but less than expected

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

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.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131112/italian-official-inflation-slows-less-expected