Eurozone Inflation Climbs To ECB Target

Eurozone inflation accelerated more-than-expected in April, returning within the European Central Bank’s target of ‘below, but close to 2 percent’, preliminary estimate from Eurostat showed on Friday.

Elsewhere on Friday, results of an ECB survey showed that professional forecasters expect euro area consumer prices to rise faster than earlier expected, though core inflation was seen to pick up only slowly.

Headline inflation climbed to 1.9 percent from 1.5 percent in March, the Eurostat said. Economists had forecast the annual rate to rise to 1.8 percent.

Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcohol & tobacco accelerated to 1.2 percent from 0.7 percent in March. The latest level was the highest since September 2013.

“A large part of this rebound can be attributed to the late Easter we had this year,” ING Bank economist Bert Colijn said.

“Expect next month’s release to show weaker price growth though as underlying inflation remains weak.”

Among components of consumer prices, energy showed the biggest annual growth of 7.5 percent. Services cost advanced 1.8 percent and that of food, alcohol and tobacco by 1.5 percent.

Non-energy industrial goods prices rose only 0.3 percent.

The ECB maintained its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday, with President Mario Draghi saying that while growth was gaining momentum and broadening, underlying inflationary measures remained subdued.

The bank thus signaled that it has not intention of winding down its massive stimulus any time soon.

Average headline inflation expectations for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were raised to 1.6 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters said.

The earlier projections were 1.4 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent. The longer-term inflation expectation was left unchanged at 1.8 percent.

Expectations for inflation excluding food and energy were 1.1 percent, 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The figure is seen rising to 1.7…

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