Consumer prices in the euro zone in March grew faster than economists expected according to the European statistics office.
That is not good news for the European Central Bank. Its aim is to keep inflation below, but close to, 2%.
Preliminary figures show that inflation in the past four weeks was running at 2.1%, the same as in February.
The European Central Bank has made it clear that its next interest rate move will be up, but economists do not expect that to happen until the euro zone economy shows signs of sustained growth.
The ECB’s vice president Lucas Papademos said on Thursday that he is cautiously optimistic about the region’s economic recovery picking up this year and next.
He also said the ECB’s latest assessment confirmed that inflation pressure remain contained and that inflation is projected to decline over the medium term.