LONDON ( Associated Press) – Eurozone inflation hit a record 8.1% in May amid rising energy and food costs due to Russia’s war in Ukraine,
Annual inflation in 19 countries that use the euro currency rose above a previous record of 7.4% in March and April, according to the latest data published on Tuesday by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency.
Inflation in the eurozone is now at its highest level since record-keeping began for the euro in 1997.
Rising prices are weighing on household finances and making it necessary for officials to act quickly to prevent further increases in the cost of living.
Energy prices rose 39.2%, highlighting how the war and the accompanying global energy crisis are making life more expensive for the eurozone’s 343 million people.
“Energy inflation likely to last longer than previously expected” after EU agrees to ban Andrew Kenningham, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said by the end of the year most Russians would import oil.
After the agreement, Brent crude oil rose to $ 120 a barrel internationally. Oil and natural gas prices had already risen on fears that the war would disrupt supplies from Russia, the world’s biggest oil exporter. Strong global demand following the COVID-19 pandemic and a cautious approach to ramping up production from oil cartel OPEC have pushed up energy prices.
Food prices rose 7.5% in May, Eurostat said – another sign of Russia’s war in Ukraine, a major global supplier of wheat and other agricultural commodities, is pushing up prices around the world. Prices of goods such as clothing, appliances, cars, computers and books rose 4.2%. Prices for services increased by 3.5%.
Inflation is also a problem in other advanced economies like the UK and America, Where it is at the highest level in four decades.
The latest figures put pressure on officials to raise interest rates from ultralow levels to rein in rising prices.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde gave a clear indication last week that rates would soon start rising, writing On a blog that she expects to “get out of negative interest rates by the end of the third quarter.”
Eurozone countries are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.