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Services and energy drive eurozone inflation in March

BRUSSELS, Apr 16 (Reuters) – Eurozone inflation accelerated in March, as previously reported data had shown, driven mainly by higher prices for services and energy, statistics from the statistical office showed on Friday. of the European Union, Eurostat.

Eurostat confirmed its previous estimates, according to which consumer prices in the 19 countries that share the euro rose 0.9% month-on-month, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.3%, compared to year-on-year increases of 0 , 9% registered in January and February.

The European Central Bank aims to keep inflation slightly below 2% in the medium term.

Services were the main driver of the rise, adding 0.57 percentage points to the overall result, while volatile energy prices added 0.43 points. Food, alcohol and tobacco added another 0.24 points.

Without the volatility of energy and food prices – a measure that the ECB calls core inflation – prices rose 0.8% in the month and 1.0% year-on-year, as initially reported.

An even narrower measure, which excludes alcohol and tobacco and is followed by many economists, showed prices rose 1.0% on the month and 0.9% year-on-year. Both basic measures showed a slowdown in price growth compared to the previous months.

The ECB has been expecting a rebound in headline inflation due to base effects and temporary factors, warning that inflation could even exceed its target by the end of the year.

However, the ECB said that, when setting its monetary policy, it will look beyond what it expects to be a temporary peak, the key element being its bond purchase program in the secondary market, as it expects the Inflation languishes below its target for years to come.

(Information by Jan Strupczewski; edited by Philip Blenkinsop; translated by Darío Fernández in the Gdansk newsroom)

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