FRANKFURT — Eurozone inflation hit a new record high of 8.1% in May from 7.4% in April, further deepening the continent’s cost of living crisis, preliminary data from the Eurozone showed on Tuesday. Eurostat.
Inflation has once again exceeded the median forecast of 7.7% and should prompt renewed calls for the European Central Bank to act more aggressively to curb price pressures. Inflation is now more than four times the ECB’s 2% target.
The surge was mainly due to a sharp increase in energy prices (39.2%, compared to 37.5% in April), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (7.5%, against 6.3% in April) – components that have increased further. because of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Core inflation – which excludes volatile components such as food, energy, alcohol and tobacco – strengthened considerably to 3.8% in May from 3.5% in April. Core inflation is closely watched as a key indicator of domestic price pressures and a signal that external price shocks are taking hold.
Inflationary pressures have varied considerably across the region. The Baltic countries suffered the most, with inflation reaching 20.1% in Estonia; 18.5% in Lithuania; and 16.4% in Latvia. The lowest rates were recorded in Malta, at 5.6%, and France, at 5.8%.