Eurozone inflation accelerated modestly in August, the region's statistics office said, but core consumer prices were little-changed and remain far from the European Central Bank's preferred target.
Eurozone consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 1.5% this month, Eurostat said, up from 1.3% in July and slightly ahead of the 1.4% consensus forecast. So-called core inflation, which strips out volatile prices rises for food, energy, alcohol and tobacco products, was unchanged at 1.2% and has only accelerated by 0.3 percentage points since March.
The euro was marked around 0.1% higher in the immediate moments after the release at 10:000 am London time and changing hands at 1.1895 against the U.S. dollar, although it remains around 1.22% below the 2.5 year peak it reached in early Tuesday trading.
Investors have been adding to bets for most of the last five months, lifting the euro more than 11.7% against the greenback, that ECB President Mario Draghi will signal an end to the Bank's ultra-loose monetary policy, which includes a near-zero interest rate on its main refinancing benchmark, a negative rate on its deposit facility and €60 billion a month in government, agency and corporate bond purchases as the region's economy improves.
The Bank, which is mandated by the European Parliament to deliver price stability -- defined as an inflation rate of 'just below 2%' for the 19 countries that use the single currency.