01/04/2012 05:19 EST | Updated 03/05/2012 05:12 EST

Eurozone inflation eases to 2.8 per cent in December; in line with market expectations

BRUSSELS - Official figures show that inflation in the 17 countries that use the euro fell to 2.8 per cent in the year to December from 3 per cent the previous month.

The decline reported by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, on Wednesday was in line with market expectations.

Falling inflation has been predicted by the European Central Bank, which has cut its main interest rate on two occasions over the past couple of months to 1 per cent.

Inflation in the eurozone, which is grappling with a severe debt crisis, is still above the European Central Bank's target. The bank is tasked with keeping price rises at just below 2 per cent.