A man window shops as a worker changes the price tags of clothing items at a store in Madrid on July 31, 2013. Reuters/Susana Vera

Consumer price index, or CPI, in Spain held steady at 0.3 percent in December compared to the previous month, while Italy recorded a moderate uptick in the index, suggesting inflation still needs to pick up a good deal of momentum to reach the European Central Bank’s near-2 percent annual CPI target.

Analysts had expected Spain’s European Union-harmonized CPI to increase by 0.4 percent in December after a 0.3 percent rise in the preceding month. By Spain’s own methodology, the annual CPI rose 0.2 percent, unchanged from the November reading, and slightly above a 0.17 percent rise forecast by analysts.

In Italy, consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent in December, after declining 0.3 percent in November, data released by Istat, on Friday showed. Analysts expected the index to post a 0.3 percent increase. On an annual basis, the CPI posted an increase of 0.7 percent, same as the rise in November, but lower than a consensus estimate for an increase of 0.8 percent.

“The stability of Italian inflation was mainly the result of opposite movements: on one hand, the acceleration of the annual dynamics of prices of Food and non-alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, the slowdown of the annual growth of prices of Restaurants and hotels,” Istat said in a statement.