Eurozone inflation hits record 8.1% amid rising energy costs

Europe inflation reaching record levels
Inflation in the eurozone is now at its highest level since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. Photo: PA Images

Inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro currency hit a record 8.1 per cent in May amid surging energy costs prompted in part by Russia’s war in Ukraine, authorities said on Tuesday.

Annual inflation in the eurozone soared past the previous record of 7.4 per cent reached in March and April, according to the latest data from European Union statistics agency Eurostat.

Energy prices jumped 39.2 per cent, highlighting how the war and the accompanying global energy crunch are making life more expensive for the eurozone’s 343 million people.

Inflation in the eurozone is now at its highest level since record keeping for the euro began in 1997.

The latest figures add pressure on European Central Bank policymakers to raise interest rates from ultra low levels to rein in the rising prices.

Food prices also rose 7.5 per cent, Eurostat said — another sign of how the war is pushing up prices around the world because Russia and Ukraine are major global food suppliers.

Prices for goods like clothing, appliances, cars, computers and books rose 4.2 per cent. Prices for services increased 3.5 per cent, Eurostat said.

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