Romania's central bank governor Isarescu gestures during a news conference in Bucharest
Romania's central bank governor Mugur Isarescu gestures during a news conference in Bucharest February 7, 2011. Isarescu is pessimistic over the outlook for Romania's inflation because of risks to the consistency of fiscal consolidation. Reuters

Inflation in the eurozone was lower than initially estimated in January, but it still remained above the European Central Bank’s (ECB) target.

Consumer price index (CPI) in the 17-nation eurozone stood at 2.3 percent in January year-on-year compared with earlier estimate of 2.4 percent, the Eurostat said on Monday. Markets had expected the eurozone’s CPI to remain unchanged at 2.4 percent in January.

Also, the prices fell 0.7 percent in January on monthly basis. However, prices of fuels for transport, heating oil and electricity had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate.

Prices of fuels for transport, heating oil, and electricity rose 0.58 percent, 0.19 percent and 0.11 percent respectively year-on-year.

Core inflation, which excludes prices of food and energy, rose slightly to 1.1 percent in January compared with the same month last year. Markets had expected the core inflation rate to be revised to 1.2 percent.

While Ireland recorded the lowest inflation rate at 0.2 percent in January on annual basis, Romania saw the highest increase at 7 percent.

ECB targets to keep the inflation rate below the 2 percent over a two-year period. The bank expects the inflation to peak in March.