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Eurozone inflation ticks up in hopeful sign for central bank

FRANKFURT — Inflation rose in April in the 19-country eurozone, an encouraging sign for the European Central Bank in its struggle to sustainably raise price levels.

The European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat said Friday that annual inflation rose to 1.7% in April from 1.4% in March. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel, jumped to 1.2% from 0.8%.

Analysts at UniCredit bank said that the jump was boosted by the late date of Easter this year, which distorted some prices. They expect core inflation to settle back to around 1%.

The ECB has slashed interest rates and purchased 2.6 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion) in bonds in an attempt to boost inflation toward its goal of just under 2%.

The Associated Press