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Eurozone inflation accelerates — RT Business News

Services and energy costs are driving consumer prices across the single currency area

Inflation in the euro area increased for the first time in five months in April, surging to 7%, the European Union’s statistics office reported on Wednesday, confirming preliminary data.

Eurostat said consumer prices had risen from 6.9% in March as higher services and energy costs offset a slowdown in food price growth.

Services inflation, which is primarily driven by labor costs, accelerated to 5.2% in April from 5.1% in the previous month. Energy prices were up again after a slight decline in March. Food, alcohol and tobacco prices were also up by 2.75% last month, but were lower than the 3.12% rise in March.

According to the report, core inflation – excluding food and energy prices – slowed to 7.3% from 7.5%, while an even narrower measure, which excludes alcohol and tobacco, declined from 5.7% to 5.6%.

Eurostat data showed that Latvia continued to struggle with the highest inflation at 15%, followed by Slovakia, Lithuania, and Estonia – all dealing with a double-digit surge in consumer prices among the 20-member Eurozone.

Inflation in the single currency area has been above the European Central Bank’s (ECB) 2% target for nearly two years, with the regulator repeatedly hiking rates since last July to curb double-digit growth in consumer prices. The ECB once again increased rates last week to 3.25%, and has promised another hike at its next meeting in June.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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