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Euro price pressures at 29-mth high

Inflationary pressures in the euro zone reached a 29-month high in February, according to an indicator designed to predict inflation trends from the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

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New York-based ECRI said its Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge (EFZIG) rose to 103.0 in February from 102.6 in January, pushed up by rising pressures in Germany and Italy.

Inflationary pressures in France cooled off slightly in February but remained elevated while Spain's index declined, offsetting the rise in Germany and Italy.

'With the Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge rising to a 29-month high in its latest reading, euro zone inflation pressures continue to mount,' said ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan.

The European Union's statistics office estimated consumer prices in the 17-nation bloc rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in March, up from 2.4 percent in February and contrary to expectations for a decline to 2.3 percent.

The European Central Bank is expected to raise its key interest rates to 1.25 percent from a record low of 1.0 percent next week, as it focuses on controlling inflation, a Reuters poll earlier this week showed.