Inflation in Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, remained at 2.1% on a 12-month basis in January as a result of high oil prices, according to the latest data.

The German consumer price index slipped by 0.5% in January from the figure for December but was 2.1% higher than it had been in January 2005, the federal statistics office, Destatis, said in a statement.

The 12-month rate of inflation was the same as in December, the office said, confirming preliminary data released at the end of last month.

'The high level of inflation in January is once again attributable - as it has been for nearly two years - to above-average increases in oil prices,' the statisticians said. Excluding heating oil and fuels, consumer prices in Germany would have risen by just 1.3% year-on-year last month, they calculated.

Using the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) that the European Central Bank sees as its main inflation yardstick, German inflation also stood at 2.1% in January, above the ECB's ceiling of 2%, Destatis added.