Euro-Area Core Inflation Revised to 1.3%, Highest Since 2017
(Bloomberg) -- Euro-area core inflation was revised higher in April, and is now showing the fastest reading since 2017.
Updating its estimate for last month, Eurostat said the rate of underlying price growth was 1.3%, compared with 1.2% in an initial release. The April outcome was far higher than the 0.8% seen in March, but the big jump partly reflects the timing of Easter and its traditional impact on airfares, package holidays and hotel prices.
Despite the increase, core inflation remains in a tight range and 1.3% has been a ceiling it hasn’t broken through in almost four years. The last higher reading was 1.5% back in October 2015.
The headline inflation rate was 1.7% in April, unchanged from the initial estimate.
What Bloomberg’s Economists Say:
“A better reading of underlying inflation shows price pressures clearly picking up. The recent bout of economic weakness in the euro area seems to have had little impact.”
-- Maeva Cousin, economist
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The European Central Bank, which wants inflation to be just below 2% on a sustainable basis, has delayed plans for interest-rate cuts to provide more support to the economy. It’s also planning new loans for banks and will probably announce more details on those early next month.
Investors aren’t that optimistic, and one gauge of inflation expectations has dropped sharply this year. It’s at 1.32 percent, near the lowest since 2016 -- when the ECB was buying bonds at a rate of 80 billion euros ($89 billion) a month.
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