ECB raises inflation forecast

GERMANY - The European Central Bank on Thursday raised its projection for inflation this year, underlining pessimism about prices that suggests the bank may raise interest rates later this year.

In a biannual report, the bank's economists forecast 2002 inflation of 2.1% to 2.5%, significantly higher than the 1.1% to 1.7% they had predicted in December.

The ECB, which sets monetary policy in the 12 countries using the euro, has set itself the goal of keeping inflation at 2% or less - a goal that

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