31 MAR 2011
By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge
Earlier Eurostat released its February European CPI number which was higher than January (2.4%) and consensus (2.4%), coming at 2.6%.
That is the fastest inflation growth in more than two years in March as European Central Bank policy makers prepared to raise interest rates to fight increasing price pressures.
Per Bloomberg: "Inflation in the 17-nation euro region quickened to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent in February, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today in an initial estimate. That’s the fastest since October 2008 and exceeds the ECB’s 2 percent limit for a fourth month. Economists forecast inflation to hold at 2.4 percent, the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed."
The primary reason for the jump in inflation are energy costs, leading to such paradoxes as $9/gallon gasoline, as Europe is far more expose to Brent prices than the US which has spiked this year:
"Crude oil prices have surged 15 percent this year as output from Libya slumped. An armed conflict between Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s troops and rebel forces has forced companies including Total SA and ConocoPhillips to suspend operations and evacuate staff. Crude was trading at $105.30 a barrel today."
The result of the release was a kneejerk jump in the EURUSD to 1.423 as a modest hike by the ECB seems now virtually assured. Of course, a hike in rates means that the already cooling Economy will deteriorate even more. What that means for a continent that is now harboring increasingly more insolvent nations only Trichet (and Bernanke) knows.
Read entire article