Inflation across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell for the third month running in March to its lowest level in nearly three years, official figures show.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said on Wednesday consumer prices in the eurozone were up 1.7 per cent in March from the year before, its lowest level since July 2010 and down from a 1.8 per cent rate in February.
Weaker energy price inflation was one of the main reasons behind the fall.
Though the decline takes inflation further below the European Central Bank's target of keeping price rises just below 2 per cent, no change in interest rates is expected at Thursday's monthly policy meeting.
The ECB has been reluctant to take its main interest rate below the record low of 0.75 per cent even though the eurozone is in recession and inflation has dropped.
The decline in inflation in March was widely expected, though some economists were anticipating a bigger drop to 1.6 per cent, as prices continue to be weighed down by the recession and high unemployment, which, among other things, keeps a lid on wages and consumer spending.
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