Eurozone inflation hits another record high of 7.5%

Eurozone inflation hits another record high of 7.5%

April 4, 2022: -The cost of living hit another record high in the eurozone last month, raising further questions about how the European Central Bank can stabilize such rapidly rising consumer prices.

Headline inflation came in at 7.5% for March on an annual basis, according to preliminary data from Europe’s statistics office Eurostat released on Friday. Headline inflation had reached 5.9% in February.

The numbers come when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought renewed economic uncertainty, with some economists wondering whether the eurozone will enter a recession in 2022 — something that European officials have so far refused to say.

For instance, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi said last week that there would be economic damage from the invasion of Ukraine, but not a recession.

The eurozone has taken unprecedented measures to punish Russia for its decision to invade Ukraine — such as blocking the sale of luxury goods — and these sanctions have repercussions on the eurozone economy itself.

In addition, there are other side-effects from the war, most notably higher energy prices — which are driving up inflation across the bloc.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that “three main factors are likely to make inflation higher.”

She said, “energy prices are expected to stay higher for longer,” “pressure on food inflation is likely to increase,” and “global manufacturing bottlenecks are likely to persist in certain sectors.”

This economic backdrop leads consumers to be more pessimistic about their prospects in the future, too. “Households are becoming more pessimistic and could cut back on spending,” Lagarde said in Cyprus on Wednesday.

Lower spending could bring even further economic headaches, as businesses would be selling less, have less room to pay employees, and would be less likely to invest.

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Eurozone inflation hits another record high of 7.5%