The Strategist

Eurozone inflation slows down to 2.4% in March

04/04/2024 - 06:42

Annualized consumer prices increased by 2.4% in March in the eurozone, reported the European Statistical Agency (Eurostat). This is less than both the actual numbers for February (2.6%) and forecasts of analysts polled by Bloomberg (2.5%).

Stephanie Jones
Stephanie Jones
In March, the cost of food, beverages, and tobacco products went up 2.7%, while the cost of electricity went down 1.8%. Simultaneously, service prices continue to rise at a rate of 4%. This is because the labor market appears to be in poor shape, with the unemployment rate remaining at a record low of 6.5% for a number of years.

Many people anticipate that the European Central Bank (ECB) will begin reducing its main rate when inflation rates decline, according to economist of S&P Global Market Intelligence Diego Iscaro. However, Mr. Iscaro thinks that before starting the rate-easing cycle in June, the ECB would have to wait for more proof of slower wage growth due to "continuing high prices."

Estonia (4.1%), Austria (4.2%), and Croatia (4.9%) had the highest rates of inflation in March. Finland (0.7%), Latvia (1%), and Lithuania (0.3%) saw the least price rises. Prices increased by 2.3% in Germany, 2.4% in France, 1.3% in Italy, and 3.2% in Spain.