Inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro currency hit a record 8.1% in May amid rising energy costs, partly caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, authorities said on Tuesday.
Annual inflation in the eurozone surpassed the previous record of 7.4% reached in March and April, according to the latest data from Eurostat statistics bureau of the European Union.
Energy prices jumped 39.2%, marking how the war and the accompanying global energy crisis are making life more costly for the 343 million people of the eurozone.
Eurozone inflation is now at its highest level since recordkeeping for the euro began in 1997. Recent figures add pressure on European Central Bank policymakers to raise ultra-low interest rates to curb rising prices.
Food prices also rose by 7.5%, said Eurostat – another sign of how the war is pushing up prices around the world, as Russia and Ukraine are major global food suppliers. Prices for goods such as clothing, appliances, cars, computers and books rose by 4.2%. Prices for services increased 3.5%, Eurostat said.