BERLIN (Reuters) – Inflation fell in six economically important German states in January, preliminary data showed on Wednesday, suggesting that German inflation has resumed its downward trajectory.

The inflation rate in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, fell to 3.0% in January from 3.5% in December.

In Bavaria, the inflation rate fell to 2.9% from 3.4% in December, while declining to 3.7% in Brandenburg from 4.5%, to 3.5% in Saxony from 4.3%, to 3.2% in Baden-Wuerttemberg from 3.8%, and to 2.2% in Hesse from 3.5% the previous month.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast Germany’s harmonised inflation at 3.2% in January, down from 3.8% in December.

Economists will pay close attention to national inflation data later on Wednesday, as Germany and France publish their figures before the euro zone inflation data release, expected on Thursday.

French data showed on Wednesday EU-harmonised inflation falling to 3.4% in January from the 4.1% figure recorded for December.

Euro zone inflation is expected to fall slightly to 2.8% in January from 2.9% in the previous month, according to economists polled by Reuters.

(Reporting by Maria Martinez, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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