Inflation in Europe’s largest economy has not been lower than 0.8 per cent since February 2010.

The data confirms a flash estimate from the end of September and is fuelling concern that Germany could be nearing recession and that the entire euro zone bloc could slip into a period of deflation.

Concerns over low inflation in the 18-nation region prompted the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut interest rates in September and to introduce other measures to ease conditions across the euro zone.

The ECB’s target rate of inflation is just below 2 per cent, well above the current German level.

Germany’s economics ministry cut its forecasts for growth this week to 1.2 per cent, down from an earlier estimate of 1.8 per cent.