Official data show the unemployment rate for the 18-country eurozone was unchanged in January at a near-record 12 percent and inflation was stable.

The European Union's statistics agency said Friday that some 19.175 million were without a job across the eurozone, or 17,000 more than in December. The unemployment rate has held steady since October.

Eurostat says the bloc's inflation rate also remained stable at 0.8 percent in February, well below the European Central Bank's target rate of around 2 percent.

Some analysts say the low inflation rate means the bloc risks falling into deflation, when falling prices lead companies and consumers to defer purchases and investments, hurting growth.

Eurostat says the unemployment rate for the wider 28-nation EU also remained stable since October at 10.8 percent.