Consumer prices in the 16-nation euro region increased 1.5 percent in March from a year earlier, after a 0.9 percent gain in February, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said. That is the fastest inflation since December 2008.
Even as oil prices are pushing up inflation across Europe, rising unemployment and weak demand may curtail consumer spending and make it harder for companies to pass on higher costs. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said today that it was extremely important to anchor inflation expectations.”
Today’s inflation report is an initial estimate and the statistics office will release a breakdown of March inflation on April 16.