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Eurozone consumer price inflation rises to four-year high

Staff Writer |
Eurozone consumer price inflation increased to a new four-year high expected in February, as energy and food prices climbed.

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The headline harmonised consumer price index for the euro area rose to 2.0% from 1.8% in January, according to Eurostat, with energy and food prices up 9.2% and 2.5% year-on-year respectively.

This rise put the headline rate in line with the ECB's 2% price stability ceiling for the first time since January 2013.

Underlying price pressures remain subdued, with core CPI, which excludes more volatile prices such as energy, remained at 0.9%, which was in line with the consensus forecast.

Other data from Eurostat on Thursday revealed a small fall in the number of unemployed people, which left the euro-zone unemployment rate unchanged at 9.6%.

Looking ahead, economists said recent activity indicators have pointed to healthy economic growth for the bloc, suggesting underlying inflationary pressures may pick up.

With unemployment unchanged at 9.6%, which is close to most estimates of the structural rate, the rise in inflation implied wage growth may be set to rise.

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