German inflation rate down to 1.4 percent in March

Germany's annual inflation rate down to just 1.4 percent in March, rise in energy prices slows

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- The annual inflation rate in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, slipped to 1.4 percent in March as a rise in energy prices slowed.

The official figure released Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Office compared with a 1.5 percent annual rate in February and 2 percent as recently as December. Though the March figure exceeded economists' forecast for 1.3 percent, it was the lowest since the end of 2010.

The statistical office says energy prices rose 0.5 percent in March, down from more than 3.5 percent in each of the previous three months.

The European Central Bank meets to consider monetary policy on Thursday. Falling inflation can leave room for interest rate cuts but the ECB isn't expected to lower its benchmark rate from a record-low 0.75 percent.

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