German preliminary inflation eases to 1.4 pct y/y in March

BERLIN, April 2 Tue Apr 2, 2013 8:09am EDT

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BERLIN, April 2 (Reuters) - German annual inflation eased in line with forecasts, coming in below the European Central Bank's (ECB) target for price stability for a third straight month, preliminary data showed on Tuesday.

Consumer prices rose by 1.4 percent on the year in March, its smallest increase since December 2010, data from the Statistics Office showed. The ECB targets an inflation of just below 2 percent for the euro zone as a whole.

The acceleration in prices was slightly below February's 1.5 percent yearly rate of inflation and in line with the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 29 economists.

On a monthly basis, German prices inched up by 0.5 percent in March, after rising by 0.6 percent in February. The increase was slightly above a Reuters consensus forecast for a 0.4 percent gain.

Consumer prices harmonised to compare with other European Union countries showed a monthly gain of 0.4 percent and an annual rise of 1.8 percent.

Final German price data for March are due to be released on April 11, the Office said.

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