BERLIN, April 27 German consumer inflation
picked up more than expected in April to surpass the European
Central Bank's price stability target of just under 2 percent,
data showed on Thursday, heaving more pressure on the ECB to
wind down monetary stimulus soon.
German consumer prices, harmonised to compare with other
European countries (HICP), rose by 2 percent on the year after
having eased to 1.5 percent in the previous month, the Federal
Statistics Office said.
The April figure came in slightly stronger than a Reuters
consensus forecast of 1.9 percent.
Rising energy prices and higher food costs were again the
main drivers behind the overall increase, a breakdown of the
non-harmonized data showed.
The figures suggested that price pressures in Europe's
biggest economy - also partly due to higher costs for package
holidays and transportation - are building up as an economic
upswing continues and the labour market booms.
The ECB has slashed interest rates into negative territory
and adopted a bond-buying programme worth 2.3 trillion euros
($2.51 trillion) to pump money into the region's economy.
The central bank on Thursday kept its ultra-easy policy
stance in place, even as economic growth is on its best run
since the global financial crisis.
($1 = 0.9175 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Joseph Nasr)