Euro area annual inflation was 2.4 per cent in February 2011, up from 2.3 per cent in January, an Eurostat report informs. A year earlier the rate was 0.8 per cent. Monthly inflation was 0.4 per cent in February 2011. EU annual inflation was 2.8 per cent in February 2011, unchanged compared with January. A year earlier the rate was 1.5 per cent. Monthly inflation was 0.4 per cent in February 2011. In February 2011, the lowest annual rates were observed in Ireland (0.9 per cent), Sweden (1.2 per cent) and France (1.8 per cent), and the highest in Romania (7.6 per cent), Estonia (5.5 per cent) and Bulgaria (4.6 per cent). Compared with January 2011, annual inflation rose in fifteen Member States, remained stable in three and fell in eight. The lowest 12-month averages up to February 2011 were registered in Ireland (-1.1 per cent), Latvia (0.0 per cent) and the Netherlands (1.2 per cent), and the highest in Romania (6.5 per cent), Greece (5.0 per cent) and Hungary (4.4 per cent). On the other hand, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 1.6 per cent in the year up to the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with 0.9 per cent for the previous quarter. In the EU27, the annual rise was 2.0 per cent up to the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with 1.2 per cent for the previous quarter. Among the Member States for which data are available for the fourth quarter of 2010, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs were registered in Bulgaria (+7.6 per cent) and Romania (+5.4 per cent). Annual decreases were observed in Greece (-6.5 per cent), Hungary (-2.3 per cent) and Ireland (-1.2 per cent).