Eurozone inflation rises to 7.5% in March

Eurozone inflation has soared in March up to 7.5% the highest increase in prices in the euro region of the entire historical series. This represents a growth of 1.6 percentage points compared to February, when it reached 5.9%, according to the preliminary estimate published this Wednesday by the community statistics office, Eurostat.

By excluding the impact of energy, alcohol, tobacco and fresh food -volatile products-, the core inflation has stood at 3% after growing three tenths.

However, the community statistical office, the rise in prices in the euro zone in the third month of 2022 responds to the year-on-year rise of 7.8% in the cost of fresh foodcompared to 6.2% the previous month, while the rise in the energy price accelerated to 44.7% from 32% in February.

The Energy has repeated itself in the third month of the year as the main factor for price increases, with an annual growth rate of 44.7%, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (5%), non-industrial goods energy (3.4%) and services (2.7%).

In turn, the services they became more expensive by 2.7% year-on-year, two tenths more than in February, while non-energy industrial prices rose by 3.4% compared to the rise of 3.1% in the previous month.

Rises above 11% in Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands

Among the euro countries, the largest year-on-year increases in prices corresponded to Lithuania (15.6%), ahead of Estonia (14.8%) and of Netherlands (11.9%), while the less intense increases were observed in Malta (4.6%), France (5.1%) and Portugal (5.5%).

In the case of Spainthe harmonized inflation rate stood at 9.8% in March, compared to 7.6% in February, which implies an unfavorable price differential with respect to the euro zone of 2.3 percentage points, compared to 1 .7 points from the previous month.

The Vice President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Luis de Guindoshas warned this Thursday that the inflation data for March will be the first in which the impact of the war in Ukraine and will continue to rise in the short term. However, he has expressed his hope that “it will peak in two or three months.”

The European Central Bank increases its forecasts for this year to 7.1%

In its latest macroeconomic projections, the European Central Bank (ECB) has substantially raised its inflation forecast due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, anticipating that in the worst scenario prices in the eurozone could rise to 7.1% in 2022compared to 5.1% of the average in the baseline scenario.

Thus, in its most likely scenario, the ECB considers that the inflation rate for the eurozone will be 5.1% in 2022 and 2.1% in 2023, when in December it anticipated price increases of 3 .2% and 1.8%, respectively. For 2024, the institution forecasts an inflation rate of 1.9%, one tenth more than forecast in December.

However, given the great uncertainty surrounding the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the euro area economy, in addition to the base scenario, the ECB has prepared an “adverse” scenario in which inflation would rise by 5.9% this year, and 2% and 1.6% the following two years, respectively.

Also, in a “severe scenario“, the ECB anticipates a rise in inflation to 7.1% in 2022 and a moderation of the price increase to 2.7% next year and 1.9% in 2024.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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