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Crucial Euro Zone Inflation Data will only Include Estimate for Germany

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Crucial euro zone inflation data due a day before the European Central Bank's Thursday meeting will only include an estimate for Germany after the bloc's biggest country delayed the release of its own figures, Eurostat said on Monday.

German statistics agency Destatis unexpectedly pushed back the publication of German data to an unspecified date next week from Tuesday because of technical issues in processing data, it said in a statement.

The delay will likely frustrate ECB policymakers who are trying to gauge if sky-high inflation is past its peak or if energy price changes at the turn of the year could yet push inflation higher.

Instead of using reported German data, Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, will estimate German price growth, but will not publish this figure separately.

Once Destatis figures are released, Eurostat will include them in final inflation data, set to be published on Feb 23.

The rapid surge in energy prices has made the calculation of energy prices difficult and some statistics agencies around the 20-nation currency bloc have warned that volatility could result in over- and underestimation of actual inflation.

The ECB is all but certain to raise rates by a half a percentage point on Thursday but the fresh inflation data are still crucial for the bank's policy guidance for subsequent meetings.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Balazs Koranyi; editing by Matthias Williams and Christina Fincher

Source: Reuters

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