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Business

German inflation continues to edge up

Inflation in Germany continued its upward trend in May, in a sign that the European Central Bank's massive monetary stimulus measures are succeeding in pushing up consumer prices in Europe's economic powerhouse.

Preliminary data released on Monday by Germany's federal statistics office, Destatis, showed that inflation in the country climbed 0.7 percent year-on-year in May. This is the fourth consecutive month of increase and comes after the consumer price index had leapt in April by 0.5 percent year-on-year.

A gain in food and service sector costs as well as a pickup in energy costs helped drive the inflation rate higher.

The May data are still only preliminary, since they are based on consumer price statistics from only six of Germany's 16 regional states. Final data from all 16 states will be published on June 16, Destatis said.

Not optimal

Nevertheless, the 0.7 percent year-on-year inflation rate in Europe's biggest economy was still well below targets of just under 2 percent regarded by the European Central Bank (ECB) as optimal.

The latest data, however, appear to confirm that the ECB's monetary policy measures are slowly beginning to push up inflation. It will also help to raise the central bank's hopes that the eurozone has emerged from the threat of a prolonged period of deflation.

The ECB, which is due to meet on Wednesday, unleashed in March a 1.1-trillion-euro ($1.2-trillion-dollar) bond-buying program aimed at rejuvenating the 19-member currency bloc's economy and boosting inflationary pressures in the region.

sri/uhe (AFP, dpa)

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