Prices in the euro zone continued their march higher in May! hitting a record high for the seventh month in a row.
According to preliminary figures from Europe’s statistics office,
inflation reached 8.1% for the month of May, up from April’s record high of 7.4% and higher than expectations of 7.8%.
*EU eurostat tweet on inflation
— EU_Eurostat (@EU_Eurostat) May 31, 2022
It comes after inflation prints from several major European economies surprised to the upside in recent days.
German inflation came in at an annual 8.8% in May, preliminary figures showed on Monday, (significantly surpassing analyst expectations of 8%) and marking a sharp incline from the 7.8% seen in April.
French inflation also surpassed expectations in May to a notch record 5.9%, up from 5.4% in April,
While harmonized Spanish consumer prices jumped by an annual 8.5% in May, (exceeding expectations of 8%)
Across the euro zone,
the record annual consumer price increase was driven by soaring energy costs, which hit 39.2% (up from 37.5% in April) and a 7.5% increase in food, alcohol and tobacco prices (up from 6.3%).
Rising prices have been worsened over recent months by the war in Ukraine, particularly food and energy costs, as exports are blocked and countries across the West scramble to reduce their reliance on Russian gas.
- EU leaders agreed late Monday to ban 90% of Russian crude oil by the end of the year, sending prices significantly higher.
president of the European Council, said the move would immediately hit 75% of Russian oil imports.
Inflation, remains persistently high not just in Europe, but also in th U.S. and beyond, causing a headache for central banks, which are also balancing the risk of recession.
Earlier this month,
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said she was anticipating a rate rise at the central bank’s meeting in July.