April 27, 2017 / 12:03 PM / 4 months ago

German inflation surpasses ECB target in April

BERLIN, April 27 (Reuters) - 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)

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