Eurozone inflation rose last month, according to Eurostat on Wednesday, matching previous figures showing increasingly persistent price growth across the eurozone’s 20 member countries.
In April, overall price growth accelerated to 7.0% from 6.9% in March, as increasing services and energy costs offset a slowdown in food price inflation.
European Central Bank officials have lately been focusing on core price increase, and while it has moderated slightly in recent months, the vital services component has continued to accelerate, suggesting rising wage pressures that might keep inflation stuck above the ECB’s 2% target.
The ECB has raised interest rates by a total of 375 basis points since last July in an effort to curb inflation, which has remained above the bank’s 2% target for nearly two years.
However, further increases are expected, as it may be 2025 before inflation returns to target and the “last mile” of deflation, from 3% to 2%, may be exceptionally challenging, requiring roughly 2 years.
Preliminary statistics released earlier this month showed an increase in inflation across the eurozone in April, with the rate continuing to run well above the central bank’s target.