Euro-area inflation inches toward 2 per cent with focus on June cut

The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates in June. Picture: Getty

Euro-area inflation slowed more than expected, cementing prospects for an interest-rate cut by the European Central Bank in June.

Consumer prices rose an annual 2.4 per cent last month, down from 2.6 per cent in February. Analysts had predicted an increase of 2.5 per cent. A measure excluding volatile items such as food and energy also eased more than anticipated, to 2.9 per cent.

The report adds to evidence that policymakers are on track to return inflation to the 2 per cent target, allowing them to soon dial back some of the restriction needed after price gains surged into double digits.