Eurozone inflation jumps to 15-month high in March

08:23, April 01, 2010      

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Annual inflation in the eurozone jumped to a 15-month high in March, European Union (EU) statistics bureau Eurostat said Wednesday.

According to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat, consumer prices in the 16 EU nations that use the euro rose 1.5 percent year on year, after a rise of 0.9 percent in February.

It was the highest since December 2008 and showed a significant increase compared with figures in the previous three months, which were all around 1 percent. Analysts said the main reason for the sharp rise was a significant jump in oil prices over a year ago.

However, the eurozone inflation remained below the 2-percent ceiling preferred by the European Central Bank (ECB) to maintain price stability.

The European Commission had forecast inflation in the eurozone would remain largely subdued in the near term, making it less likely the Frankfurt-based ECB will raise its benchmark interest rate soon.



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