Euro zone April inflation rises

BRUSSELS Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:41am BST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone inflation edged up as expected in April but remained well below the European Central Bank's target, underlining market expectations of unchanged ECB interest rates until 2011.

Consumer prices in the 16-country currency area rose 1.5 percent year-on-year, up from 1.4 percent in March, European Union statistics office Eurostat estimated on Friday.

No monthly data or detailed breakdown was available. The details will be released on May 18.

In March, price rises were driven mainly by higher energy costs.

The ECB wants to keep inflation just below 2 percent over the medium term. Economists expect the bank to hold interest rates at a record low of 1 percent until next year.

Separately, Eurostat said euro zone unemployment stayed flat month-on-month at 10.0 percent of the workforce in March, in line with the expectations of economists polled by Reuters.

Eurostat estimated that 15.8 million people were jobless in the euro area in March, 101,000 more than in February and 1.39 million more than in March 2009. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Dale Hudson)

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