Euro zone inflation remained stable at 3% in October, new data showed today, unchanged from the previous month but well above the European Central Bank target.

Eurostat, the European Union's statistical agency, said it estimated annual inflation in the 17-nation eurozone at 3%, the 12th month in a row that inflation has been over the ECB target for price stability of below or close to 2%.

Transport and housing saw the sharpest rises in the euro area during the month, increasing 5.8% and 5.1% respectively, Eurostat said.

Twelve-month inflation across the 27-state EU rose to 3.4% compared to 3.3% the previous month, a sharp rise against the rate a year earlier of 2.3%.

Lowest rates in October in the 27 states were registered in Sweden, with 1.1% and Ireland with 1.5%, while Britain had the highest inflation of 5%.