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February 01 2013, 03:43AM

Inflation in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, slowed to 1.7 per cent in January from 2.1 per cent in December, official figures show.

On a monthly basis, the German consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.5 per cent last month, according to preliminary data compiled by the national statistics office, Destatis.

Using the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the ECB's inflation yardstick, the rate of inflation in Germany also eased to 1.9 per cent in January from 2.1 per cent in December, Destatis said.

The ECB defines price stability as increases in HICP of close to but just below two per cent.

Preliminary inflation data are calculated using consumer price data for six of Germany's 16 federal states.

Final data, based on statistics for all 16 states, are scheduled to be published on February 20.