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Eurozone Inflation Figures in January Raise Pressure on ECB March Meeting

Inflation in the eurozone continues to rise sharply in January. The consumer price index CPI rose by 5.1% year-on-year in January. Month-on-month, the CPI rose by 0.3%. This is putting pressure on the European Central Bank to change its policy from zero interest rates.

It is widely expected that the ECB will signal the end of bond purchases in the third quarter at its next meeting in March. This opens the door for an interest rate hike before the end of the year.

ECB policymaker Robert Holzmann challenged that order, telling media outlets that the central bank could raise interest rates before the end of its asset purchase program.

His remarks made the March 10 meeting a landmark event by increasing pressure for early change in current policy. The ECB has long been criticized for downplaying inflation, which it has long said is only transitory.

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