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German inflation inches up in August

The pace of inflation in Germany has picked up in recent weeks, preliminary official figures have shown. The increase in consumer prices was near the ECB's target of little below 2.0 percent for the whole eurozone.

Consumer prices in Europe's powerhouse rose by 1.8 percent in August year on year, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Wednesday on the basis of preliminary calculations.

August's rate of inflation was 0.1 percentage points higher than in July and was fully in line with analysts' expectations.

The hike recorded for the past four weeks is near the European Central Bank's target of close, but little below 2.0 percent for the whole 19-nation euro area. But with inflation for the bloc at just 1.3 percent last month, the central bank's interventions in the economy are likely to be wound down only slowly in the coming years.

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ECB's Draghi sits on his hands as inflation rises

Visible trend

Looking at the different elements of the consumer price basked that serves as a basis for calculations, growth rates in energy and food costs were most pronounced, with energy inflation hitting 2.3 percent in August after a slump to zero two months earlier.

The ECB's massive bond-buying program and record-low interest rates have been designed to encourage lending, promote growth and of course drive inflation toward the central bank's own target.

Bankers have been putting mounting emphasis on what they call core inflation, a measure of consumer prices developments that excludes volatile food and energy costs and thus aims to get a more reliable way of gauging the impact of the ECB's monetary policy.

hg/jd (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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