The eurozone’s brief flirtation with 2 per cent inflation is over.
Annual consumer price growth in the 19-country bloc has been confirmed at 1.5 per cent in March, dipping from the four-year high of 2 per cent which had begun to raise concerns over an inflationary surge in the continent.
The eurozone has emerged from more than three years of weak inflation at the start of this year as climbing food and energy prices have pushed up prices. Eurostat today confirmed the March reading of 1.5 per cent, marking the biggest monthly price drop in over a year.
Two years into their low rates and bond-buying experiment, the European Central Bank’s senior policymakers think the current climb in inflation is not sustainable as it is underpinned by volatile factors such as energy rather than more concrete developments such as sustained wage growth.
Staff at the ECB expect average inflation of 1.7 per cent this year. They expect to continue with their QE measures until at least the end of the year.