Eurozone Inflation Hits Record 8.1% Amid Rising Energy Costs

FILE - A customer pays for vegetables at the Maravillas market in Madrid, Thursday, May 12, 2022. Inflation hit a new record of 8.1% for the 19 countries that use the euro powered by surging energy costs boosted by the Russia-Ukraine war. The latest data Tuesday, May 31, 2022 from the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat showed that annual inflation in May surpassed the previous record of 7.4% reached in the previous two months. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

Inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro currency hit a record 8.1% in May amid surging energy costs prompted in part by Russia’s war in Ukraine, authorities said Tuesday.

Annual inflation in the eurozone soared past the previous record of 7.4% reached in March and April, according to the latest data from European Union statistics agency Eurostat.

Energy prices jumped 39.2%, highlighting how the war and the accompanying global energy crunch are making life more expensive for the eurozone’s 343 million people.

Inflation in the eurozone is now at its highest level since recordkeeping for the euro began in 1997. The latest figures add pressure on European Central Bank policymakers to raise interest rates from ultralow levels to rein in the rising prices.

Food prices also rose 7.5%, Eurostat said — another sign of how the war is pushing up prices around the world because Russia and Ukraine are major global food suppliers. Prices for goods like clothing, appliances, cars, computers and books rose 4.2%. Prices for services increased 3.5%, Eurostat said.

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