German inflation up again; set to fuel criticism of stimulus

Germany's annual inflation rate in January has risen to 1.9 percent from 1.7 percent the month before, a jump that's likely to stoke local criticism of the European Central Bank's stimulus efforts.

The figures, published Monday by the state statistics agency, will likely mean inflation for the wider 19-country eurozone will rise from December's 1.1 percent.

Eurozone figures are due Tuesday.

The ECB has held its benchmark interest rate at zero and plans to continue with its bond-buying program through year-end to get eurozone inflation toward its goal of just under 2 percent. ECB head Mario Draghi has said the stimulus needs to continue because higher inflation is due to volatile oil prices, not underlying price pressures.

Critics in Germany say the policy hurts savers and bails out indebted governments.