January 3, 2017 / 2:23 PM / 7 months ago

Ifo urges end to ECB bond buys if eurozone inflation hits German level

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BERLIN, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should end its bond-buying programme if Germany's stronger-than-expected inflation reading for December is reflected across the euro zone, the head of Germany's Ifo economic institute said.

German consumer prices, harmonised to compare with other European countries (HICP), rose by 1.7 percent on the year in December after an increase of 0.7 percent in November, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday.

"This jump in inflation is a signal to exit from the ECB's expansive monetary policy," Ifo chief Clemens Fuest told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "If these figures are confirmed for the euro zone as a whole, the ECB should end the bond buy programme in March 2017."

A Reuters poll pointed to euro zone inflation data, due on Wednesday, to show a reading of 1.0 percent for December. (Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michael Nienaber)

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