With eurozone inflation falling, the European Central Bank has signaled it is ready to lower rates this week, diverging from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

European Central Bank officials are expected to cut interest rates this week for the first time in more than five years, drawing a line under the worst of the eurozone’s inflation crisis and easing the pressure on the region’s weak economy.

But as policymakers in the eurozone move ahead, they leave behind their counterparts at the U.S. Federal Reserve, who are grappling with a seemingly more persistent inflation problem and warning that it will take longer to cut rates there.

Lowering interest rates in Europe before the United States does would create a gap between the policies of two of the world’s largest and most influential central banks. A move by the E.C.B. to ease its policy could weaken the euro, while higher interest rates in the United States

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