May 17, 2019 / 9:25 AM / 5 days ago

Euro zone April inflation confirmed at 1.7%, core rate revised up

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the interior of Le bon Marche shopping mall in Paris, France, August 26, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone prices rose by 1.7 percent in April, EU statistics agency Eurostat confirmed on Friday, while slightly revising upwards its estimates for core inflation.

Eurostat said consumer prices in the 19-nation euro zone were 1.7 percent higher year-on-year, the same level as the flash estimate published on May 3, from 1.4 percent in March.

The acceleration offers some mild relief to the European Central Bank, which targets inflation of just below 2 percent, although the jump was likely related to the later timing of Easter this year.

Month-on-month, euro zone prices increased by 0.7 percent, as markets had expected, from 1.0 percent in March.

The core indicator watched closely by the ECB for its monetary policy decisions, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose to 1.4 percent in April on the year from 1.0 percent in March.

That compared with a flash estimate of 1.3 percent.

A narrower inflation indicator that excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco was also confirmed increasing to 1.3 percent from 0.8 percent in March. For this, the flash estimate had been 1.2 percent.

Inflation as a whole rose because of a 5.3 percent increase in energy prices, a 1.9 percent rise in the prices of services and a 1.5 percent hike of food, alcohol and tobacco prices.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

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