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Financial News: Eurozone Inflation Softens To 2.6% As Estimated

Eurozone Inflation Softens To 2.6% As Estimated

03/18/2024 - 07:06:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone inflation softened as estimated in February largely reflecting the decline in energy prices, final data from Eurostat showed on Monday.

The harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP posted an annual increase of 2.6 percent after rising 2.8 percent in January. The rate matched the flash estimate published on March 1.

Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco slowed to 3.1 percent, as estimated, from 3.3 percent a month ago.

On a monthly basis, the HICP gained 0.6 percent in February, in line with the initial estimate.

<a href=https://www.rttnews.com/3430686/ecb-leaves-key-interest-rates-unchanged-cuts-ez-forecast.aspx?refresh=1 target=_blank >The European Central Bank</a> Staff projected overall inflation to average 2.3 percent this year, 2.0 percent in 2025 and 1.9 percent in 2026.

At the last governing council meeting in March, policymakers decided to leave its benchmark rates unchanged. The bank observed that most measures of underlying inflation eased further but domestic price pressures remained high in part owing to strong growth in wages.

Core inflation that excludes energy and food is projected to average 2.6 percent this year, 2.1 percent in 2025 and 2.0 percent in 2026.

Data showed that highest contribution to annual inflation came from services as services cost advanced 1.7 percent. This was followed by food, alcohol and tobacco, which climbed 5.6 percent.

Non-energy industrial goods prices gained 2.0 percent. By contrast, energy prices plunged 6.1 percent.

In the EU27, annual inflation was 2.8 percent, down from 3.1 percent in January.

The lowest annual rates were registered in Latvia, Denmark and Italy. At the same time, the highest annual rates were recorded in Romania, Croatia and Estonia.

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