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German inflation rate drops sharply below ECB target in May

BERLIN, May 31 (Reuters) - German annual inflation slowed sharply in May, after exceeding the European Central Bank's target level in the previous month for the first time since November, preliminary data showed on Friday.

German consumer prices, harmonised to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries, rose by 1.3% year-on-year after an increase of 2.1% in the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said.

The May reading was the lowest since February 2018 and compared with a Reuters forecast of 1.4%.

The ECB targets inflation of close to but below 2% for the euro zone as a whole.

On the month, EU-harmonised prices rose by 0.3%, in line with market expectations.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr Editing by Paul Carrel)

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