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The harmonized consumer price index rose 1.5% year-on-year after 2% increase in February, which was the highest since January 2013. The figure was in line with its flash estimate released on March 31.
Thus the headline inflation rate returned with the 'below, but close to 2%' target of the European Central Bank. The slowing also vindicates the bank's policy stance of retaining massive monetary stimulus as it assessed that the recent spike in inflation was temporary and driven by energy prices.
Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcohol & tobacco fell to 0.7% from 0.9% as estimated earlier.
Energy price inflation slowed to 7.4% from 9.3%.
Compared to the previous month, the HICP climbed 0.8% in March. ■
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