Inflation in the eurozone set its latest record, climbing to 5.1 percent in January, amid persistently high energy costs and tensions over Ukraine. The rising cost of living is likely to dominate the first ECB governing council meeting of the year on Thursday, even if most economists expect the bank to stick to its timetable for keeping interest rates unchanged while it steadily reduces asset purchases over the course of this year. However, higher-than-expected inflation has led the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England to shift to a more “hawkish” policy stance than the ECB. The BoE is expected to raise rates for a second consecutive time on Thursday, while the market is pricing in five rate rises by the Fed this year.
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