German EU-harmonised inflation slows more than forecast in Feb

BERLIN Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:01am EST

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BERLIN Feb 27 (Reuters) - German EU-harmonised annual inflation decelerated more than expected to 1.0 percent year-on-year in February from 1.2 percent the previous month, preliminary data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Thursday.

That compared with the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of economists for it to slow to 1.1 percent. The reading raises pressure on the ECB to act at its rate-setting meeting next week.

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) - the measure of inflation used by the European Central Bank - was up 0.5 percent on the month, less than the 0.7 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.

Annual German inflation on a non-harmonised basis slowed to 1.2 percent in February from 1.3 percent the previous month. It had been forecast to hold steady.

The statistics office said relatively low inflation was due to lower energy prices in February compared with a year ago.

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