ECB faces hard choices as inflation hits 2.6%

Inflation in the euro area rose to 2.6% in October - half a percentage point higher than in September, according to statistics published by the Eurostat, the EU statistics office.

The figures, which put inflation at its highest level since September 2005, leave the European Central Bank with a difficult decision to make on whether or not to hike rates.

The central bank's primary role is to maintain price stability by keeping inflation below but close to 2%. However, it will be hard to raise r