BERLIN (Reuters) - German annual inflation accelerated in February to within touching distance of the European Central Bank’s target, data showed on Friday, but the coronavirus epidemic means the firming price pressures pose no threat to the ECB’s stimulus policy.
German consumer prices, harmonised to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries, rose by 1.7% year-on-year after posting a 1.6% increase in the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said.
Despite the acceleration, inflation remained just below the ECB’s target level of close to but below 2%.
The reading was above a Reuters forecast for 1.6%.
On the month, EU-harmonised prices rose by 0.6% in February. That compared with the forecast for a 0.4% rise.
Earlier on Friday, two ECB policymakers said the central bank does not need to take immediate action in response to the coronavirus epidemic, confounding market bets on a rate cut.
Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin