EU inflation smashes historic high
Price growth in the EU surged to 10.9% year-on-year in September, marking a new record high across the 27-member bloc, the statistics agency Eurostat reported on Wednesday.
The latest figures show prices having risen from the 10.1% print in August, thus posting a fifth straight month of growth. The rate stood at 3.6% a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate in the Eurozone, a subset of the EU comprising 19 members that use the euro as their currency, increased to 9.9% in September, a jump from August’s 9.1% and last year’s 3.4%.
The price growth is still being driven by spiraling food and energy costs. Meanwhile, the concerning inflation readings are adding to the urgency for more rate hikes by the European Central Bank (ECB), even after its aggressive moves in July and September.
The European Commission on Tuesday proposed €40 billion ($39.2 billion) in aid to help small and medium-sized businesses and “address energy poverty through support to vulnerable households.” EU leaders will meet on Thursday to discuss the package.
“Europe is facing its week of truth,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle. “This week it is hit or miss,” he stressed.
Germany, which has the EU's largest economy, has unveiled a €200 billion plan (around $196 billion) to combat the energy crisis and skyrocketing costs. The relief measures include a gas price cap and a tax on windfall profits made by energy firms.
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