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--Flash Eurostat Data Sees EMU March HICP At 1.4% y/y vs 1.1% February
--Flash Core Inflation Unchanged At 1.0% Y/Y in March
By Jamie Satchithanantham
     LONDON (MNI) - March Euro area headline inflation rose over the month of
March but core inflation held firm, falling short of analysts' expectations,
flash data released by Eurostat on Wednesday revealed.
     The March headline HICP reading rose 0.3 percentage point to 1.4% on the
year, in line with the market consensus. The measure had declined for three
consecutive months prior to the March result, trending down from November's peak
of 1.5%.  
     Despite the rise in headline HICP it still remains below the ECB's target
of "just below two per cent". 
     The major contributors to the March rise were food, alcohol and tobacco,
with prices jumping 2.2% y/y compared to the 1.0% y/y rise in February and the
1.8% recorded last March. Energy prices were up 1.3% y/y, up from 1.0% in Feb. 
     Excluding energy, alcohol, tobacco and food, core inflation was estimated
to have held firm at 1.0% on the year in March, below the 1.1% markets had been
pricing in.
     Category data show that this month's data was also driven by a rise in
services output, likely linked to Easter which fell early this year compared to
last. Services inflation was up 1.5% y/y, 0.2pp higher than in February and
0.5pp higher compared to March 2017.  
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email: