Consumer prices in the eurozone in August increased in annual terms by 3%, in the EU countries – by 3.2%, according to data from the Statistical Office of the European Union (.pdf). Inflation rates in the euro area rose to their highest since November 2011. In July, inflation in annual terms was estimated at 2.2% in the euro area and 2.5% in the EU.
The largest contribution to inflation in August was made by the rise in prices in the energy sector (+1.44 p.p.), the non-energy industry (+0.65 p.p.), as well as among food, alcohol, tobacco and services (by + 0.43 p.p.) The highest annual inflation growth among the eurozone countries was noted in Lithuania, Estonia and Poland – the rise in prices amounted to 5% in each country.
After the publication of the data, member of the governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) Gabriel Makhlouf said that he considers it important to carefully study the statistics. “I believe that now the fear of significant inflation in the euro area is exaggerated, and the current price pressure reflects the factors of the transition period, which will eventually subside. However, there is significant uncertainty about the duration of the price pressure and we need to carefully interpret this data and the output of our models, ”he said during a press conference (quoted by Reuters).
On September 9, the ECB again retained the zero base rate, but at the same time announced a reduction in the volume of asset repurchases within the framework of the anti-crisis program. ECB President Christine Lagarde noted that the eurozone economy is recovering, but the delta strain of the coronavirus “could slow down the full opening.”
About the decision of the regulator – in the material of “Kommersant” “The ECB gently toughens rhetoric.”