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Euro zone inflation up to 7.0% in April -- Headline inflation in the euro zone ticked slightly higher as expected in April, in a sign that price growth remains stubbornly elevated as regional rate-setters gear up to unveil their latest rate decision this week.

The currency's area consumer price index for the month rose to 7.0% on an annualized basis, according to preliminary data from Eurostat, in line with economists' forecasts. Core inflation, which strips out volatile items like food and fuel, slowed marginally to 5.6%.

In March, inflation in the euro zone fell by the most on record thanks to slipping energy costs, although growth in core prices accelerated to a new high of 5.7%.

The April figures come as the European Central Bank prepares to hold its latest monetary policy meeting on Thursday, with officials widely tipped to increase borrowing costs. However, forecasts differ over whether the ECB will hike rates by 25 basis points or opt for a larger 50 basis point increase.

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