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Portuguese official inflation eases to 3.1%

Portuguese inflation eased in March to an annualised 3.1 percent from 3.6 percent in February, official data released on Thursday by the national statistics office Ine showed.

Key sources of the latest price increases were the housing, water, electricity, gas, fuel and transport sectors, an Ine statement said.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were 1.2 percent higher, a sharp pick-up from the rate in February of 0.1 percent, owing to spikes in the cost of clothing and footwear.

“The arrival of the new spring/summer collections explain the higher monthly variation,” Ine noted.

When calculated according to a method that allows for comparison across the 17-nation eurozone, Portuguese inflation stood at 3.1 percent in March, higher than the eurozone average of 2.7 percent.

The European Central Bank has set a medium term inflation target of below but close to 2.0 percent.

Portuguese officials expect the national rate to average 3.3 percent this year.