German inflation rate hits 1.5 percent in February; lowest rate in over 2 years

Official figures show that inflation in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell to an annual rate of 1.5 percent in February — the lowest in more than two years.

The Federal Statistical Office says inflation would have been 1.1 percent were it not for higher energy and food prices.

February's rate was down from 1.7 percent in January and 2 percent in December.

The last time it was so low was in December 2010 when inflation stood at 1.3 percent.

The German rate is now well below the European Central Bank's target of keeping price rises just below 2 percent.

The overall February rate for the 17 countries that use the euro currency has been estimated at 1.8 percent, according to recent figures from the European Union's statistics office.