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Inflation

German inflation hits lowest level in years

German consumer prices have only seen only moderate monthly increases for quite a while. Fresh statistical data revealed inflation in Europe's biggest economy has reached its lowest level in over two years.

Germany logged a 1.4-percent rise in consumer prices in March year-on-year, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Thursday. It marked the most moderate rise since December 2010.

Inflation edged up a mere 0.5 percent, if compared to the level reached in the previous month. The Wiesbaden-based office said there had been a marked 6.5-percent drop in prices for mineral oil products.

By contrast, electricity costs went up 12.4 percent in March, with prices for foodstuffs such as vegetables, meat, fish and bread also experiencing a hike.

ECB sees no cause for alarm

Also on Thursday, France's statistics agency Insee reported a 0.8-percent rise in inflation from February to March, a considerable increase from the monthly rate of 0.3 percent from January to February.

"The largest upward pressures came mainly from a seasonal surge in manufactured product prices at the end of the winter sales and to some extent from some prices of services associated with the winter holidays," Insee said in a statement.

The European Central Bank (ECB) had earlier said it expected inflation in the 17-member eurozone to average 1.6 percent throughout the current year.

hg/kms (dpa, AFP)

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