Eurozone FIG Rises

Inflationary pressures in the euro zone edged up in February, pushed up by increases in Germany, Italy and Spain, according to an indicator designed to predict inflation trends.

The Eurozone Future Inflation Gauge (EZFIG) rose a touch to 97.3 in February from January's 21-month low of 96.7, the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) said on Friday.

'Despite its latest uptick, the EZFIG is still in a clear cyclical downtrend. Euro zone inflation is likely to remain in a cyclical downtrend in the coming months,' Lakshman Achuthan, ECRI's chief operating officer said.

Inflation in the 17-nation bloc slipped to 2.6 percent last month from February's 2.7 percent, flash data showed last week, a shallower fall than the dip to 2.5 percent expected by economists.

The European Central Bank targets inflation at just below two percent but it has remained stubbornly above this goal, pressured by booming oil prices and a weak economic picture that has forced the bank to keep interest rates low.

The ECB has injected over a trillion euros into the money supply in two three-year tenders but on Wednesday bank president Mario Draghi sought to assuage German concerns that the wall of money unleashed by the twin LTROs could stoke inflation pressures.

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