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News Link • European Union

UPDATE 1-Euro zone inflation obstinately shows no signs of easing

•, By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS, April 17 (Reuters) - The EU's statistics agency revised upwards its March inflation reading for the euro zone on Tuesday, adding to the case for the European Central Bank to hold back from further monetary stimulus.


Costlier oil pushed consumer prices higher.


Prices in the 17 nations sharing the euro were up 2.7 percent in March from a year ago, Eurostat said on Tuesday, the same level as in February but up from a first estimate for March of 2.6 percent.


Brent crude prices are near $120 a barrel, hitting prices at a time when a depressed economy with rising unemployment, government cuts and weak business confidence has eaten into consumers' ability to spend.


That and the return to debt crisis mode in Spain and Italy have prompted speculation that the ECB could do more to stimulate growth. But high headline inflation numbers to some extent tie the bank's hands.

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