The headline inflation rates, which have increased substantially in recent
months, have rekindled the debate surrounding the ECB’s bond-buying
programme. German producer prices have also risen sharply in recent times. In
December 2016, the prices of metal (up by 5% on December 2015) and energy
(up by 10%) increased particularly sharply. Nevertheless, the remaining inputs
(weighting: 83.6%) continued to show no inflationary pressure at all.
For the ECB, however, the increase in eurozone consumer price inflation to
1.8% in January and the rise of more than 2% percentage points in consumer
prices since summer 2016 are the more relevant metrics.
They meant that the ECB’s average annual inflation target of “below, but close to, 2%” was within
reach again – after three years of inflation rates that had hovered just above