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German inflation rises less than expected in March

BERLIN, March 29 (Reuters) - German inflation accelerated more slowly than expected in March, data showed on Thursday, suggesting that price pressures in Europe's largest economy remain fairly moderate despite a broad-based upswing, rising wages and unprecedented monetary stimulus.

German consumer prices, harmonised to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries, rose by 1.5 percent year-on-year after an increase of 1.2 percent in the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said.

The February reading, which was the highest since December 2017, undershot a Reuters consensus forecast of 1.6 percent.

The preliminary numbers also showed that EU-harmonised prices were up by 0.4 percent compared to February. This was also weaker than the 0.5 percent expected by analysts.

Inflation figures from Europe's largest economy are closely watched because of their influence on the European Central Bank's monetary policy. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Madeline Chambers)