Euro zone inflation marginally higher in Jan; core also lifted
Euro zone inflation was only a touch higher in January than earlier estimated, Eurostat said on Thursday, confirming that price growth is now well past its peak, even if underlying price pressures still show no signs of abating.
Consumer price inflation in the 20 nations sharing the euro eased to 8.6% in January from 9.2% a month earlier, coming in just above the 8.5% estimated earlier this month, when figures from Germany, the bloc’s biggest economy, were not yet included.
The data are still likely to make for grim reading at the European Central Bank (ECB) as revisions show core inflation, or price growth excluding volatile food and fuel products, accelerating to 5.3% from 5.2%, confounding initial data for a steady pace.
The ECB has raised rates by a combined 3 percentage points since July to tame inflation and policymakers are now getting concerned that what was initially an energy cost-driven surge, is now broadening out to impact all sectors.
Indeed, worries about underlying inflation have dominated public commentary from policymakers in recent weeks and some have argued that rate hikes should not stop until there is a clear turnaround in core price developments.
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