Headline inflation in the eurozone has been confirmed at 2.4 per cent in the year to February, a rise from 2.3 per cent in the year to January and a thorn in the side of ECB policymakers whose target is to keep inflation below but close to 2 per cent.
Measures of core inflation that strip out food, however, fell between January and February in the eurozone. “Core” inflation measures typically exclude one or more volatile elements, such as food or energy. Eurostat offers several measures. Those excluding just energy held constant, but those excluding energy and food, fell. A widely followed core measure, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco fell from 1.1 to 1 per cent. Unlike the Fed, the ECB does not tend to like looking at core measures. As one official said: it’s perfect for people who neither eat nor drive.