Eurozone inflation accelerated to a new record high in June, as estimated, driven by energy prices, and reinforced hopes for aggressive interest rate hikes.
The harmonized index of consumer prices increased 8.6 percent on a yearly basis in June, faster than the 8.1 percent rise in May, final data from Eurostat showed on Tuesday. The rate came in line with the flash estimate published on July 1.
Meanwhile, core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, unexpectedly eased slightly to 3.7 percent, as estimated, from 3.8 percent.
On a monthly basis, the HICP gained 0.8 percent, matching initial estimate.
The record high inflation was driven by the 42.0 percent increase in energy prices. This was followed by an 8.9 percent rise in food, alcohol and tobacco prices and the 4.3 percent growth in non-energy industrial goods prices. Services cost advanced 3.4 percent.
It is clear that the euro-zone is experiencing a broad-based and growing inflation problem which looks set to force the European Central Bank to tighten fairly rapidly, Jack Allen-Reynolds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
Whether or not the ECB hikes by 50 basis points on Thursday, it will be the beginning of an aggressive 12 months of tightening, the economist added.
At its June meeting, the European Central Bank said it “intends” to raise its key interest rates by a quarter basis point in July. This would be the first hike in 11 years.
The ECB staff forecast the Eurozone inflation to rise to 6.8 percent this year before slowing to 3.5 percent in 2023.