Producer prices in the euro zone rose faster than expected in January, by 0.7 percent from December, according to data released Friday by Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency.

Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a monthly increase of just 0.5 percent.

The increase could heighten concerns that overall inflation won't drop rapidly to the European Central Bank's target, giving it less latitude to intervene to boost the economy through monetary policy, the news service noted.

On an annualized basis, producer prices rose at their slowest pace in more than a year, 3.7 percent, though this wasn't as bad as expected: Analysts' had predicted a bigger slowdown to 3.5 percent.

Consumer price inflation in the euro zone edged back up to an annual 2.7 percent. The ECB's target rate is a little below 2 percent.