Duisenberg pledges to curb inflation

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The Independent Online

Wim Duisenberg pledged to keep inflation under control after new figures yesterday showed the headline inflation rate in Euroland jumped to the top of the European Central Bank's target range last month.

Higher oil prices played a big part in the increase in inflation to 2 per cent, a rate which has more than doubled since the summer. But the ECB President said: "Most indicators and forecasts have been pointing to increased upward pressure on consumer price inflation over the medium term."

Speaking to the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee of the European Parliament, he said the weak euro and strong economic recovery had also played a part. His comments came just days after the ECB announced a quarter point rise in interest rates, the third since November. Yesterday's figures showed a 0.4 per cent jump in consumer prices in the Euro-11 countries in February, taking the annual inflation rate from 1.9 per cent to 2.0 per cent.