Inflation cools in the eurozone and is approaching the Central Bank’s target| Trending Viral hub

The annual inflation rate in most European economies decreased for the third consecutive month, approaching the target set by the European Central Bank. Consumer prices in the 20 countries that use the euro rose 2.4 percent in the year to March, up from 2.6 percent the previous month, the European Union reported Wednesday.

The rate was slightly lower than economists expected and brought headline inflation closer to the 2 percent target set by the ECB, which will hold its next interest rate meeting on April 11.

The central bank also closely monitors core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices. That figure fell to 2.9 percent in the year to March in the eurozone, falling below the 3 percent mark for the first time since Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine broke out in February 2022, which caused energy prices to rise.

Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy, saw consumer prices rise at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in March, its slowest inflation since June 2021.

The latest figures will support the idea that the ECB could soon start cutting interest rates, something the bank held firm last month, at 4 percent. But analysts believe the central bank will wait for more evidence that the cooling trend continues.

“While core inflation eased, the stubbornness of services inflation and the ECB’s desire for more wage data make a rate cut in April unlikely,” Rory Fennessy, an economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a note. .

Inflation in the United States has cooled, but it has faced a bumpy road, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s decision to proceed with caution in the face of possible interest rate cuts. The Bank of England has also withheld fees at relatively high levels amid signs that inflation in Britain It is moderating.

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