Two women hold an umbrella while sitting at an outdoor table of a cafe on April 01, 2024 in Rome, Italy. 

Emanuele Cremaschi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Inflation in the 20-nation euro zone eased to 2.4% in March, according to flash figures published on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the rate to hold steady against the previous month at 2.6%.

The core rate, excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco cooled from 3.1% to 2.9%, also coming in below expectations.

Inflation in services, a key watcher for the European Central Bank, came in at 4% for a fifth straight month.

Price rises in in France and Spain came in lower than expected last week. On Tuesday, headline inflation in the bloc’s biggest economy, Germany, was estimated at a three-year low of 2.2%.

Another indicator for the ECB released Wednesday, the euro area unemployment rate, stood at 6.5% in February, stable against January but down from 6.6% in February 2023.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.

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