Consumer prices were unrevised in the final data for December. The headline index still shows a 0.3 percent monthly rise and a 1.2 percent annual inflation rate, in line with its final November mark.
The final HICP also matched its flash 0.4 percent monthly rise but its yearly rate was revised 0.1 percentage points softer to 1.2 percent, its third consecutive month at this level.
Within the CPI basket, the largest monthly gains were seen in energy and services (both 0.5 percent), the latter reflecting the usual seasonal factors at year-end. Annual service sector inflation has been running at 1.0 percent since October. Elsewhere, yearly deflation in manufacturing (0.1 percent) eased for a fourth consecutive month.
However, seasonally adjusted, the CPI edged just 0.1 percent higher versus November when it rose 0.2 percent. Indeed, the core index was only flat at November's level although positive base effects still nudged its annual rate up to 0.6 percent following five months stuck at 0.5 percent.
The final December data may offer some limited evidence that faster economic growth is finally starting to give a boost to underlying prices. Nonetheless, competitive factors remain intense and any further acceleration near-term is likely to be only very limited.