Core inflation in the eurozone hit a record in March, a setback for central bankers whose rapid interest-rate rises have exacerbated financial sector strains and caused pains in part of the bloc’s economy.
The fresh data increases the likelihood that the European Central Bank will raise its key rate again in May. It could also encourage governments to explore alternative ways to cool prices rises by targeting inflationary increases in profits.
The European Union’s statistics agency said consumer prices in the eurozone were 6.9% higher in March than a year earlier, a decline from the 8.5% rate of inflation recorded in February and the lowest in just over a year. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal last week had expected to see a decline to 7.1%.