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German inflation rises to 1.5% in March

German inflation picked up ahead of the traditional Easter festivities, albeit by slightly less than expected, Market Watch reported on Thursday.

The annual inflation rate - measured by harmonized European Union standards - rose to 1.5% in March from 1.2% in February, the Federal Statistical Office said Thursday. 

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast an increase to 1.6%.

A statistician at the agency pointed to the earlier timing of Easter this year compared with 2017, and a pickup in food-price inflation led by "base effects." A particularly cold snap in February 2017 had sent vegetable prices through the roof, he said.

Inflation in Germany remained below the European Central Bank's target in March, with the ECB aiming to keep inflation in the eurozone at just below 2%.

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