BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation surged to its highest rate on record in November, the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat confirmed on Friday, with more than half of the increase due to a spike in energy prices.
Eurostat said inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose to 4.9%, a year-on-year surge in line with an earlier Eurostat estimate. Month-on-month, the increase was revised down to 0.4% from a previously reported 0.5%.
The ECB wants to keep inflation at 2.0% over the medium term and has repeatedly said the inflation surge is temporary. The bank expects price growth to slow during 2022, but admitted this will take longer than initially expected.
Breaking down the year-on-year total, more expensive energy added 2.57 percentage points to inflation, services 1.16 points, non-energy industrial goods 0.64 points and food, alcohol and tobacco a further 0.49 points, Eurostat said.
Without the volatile energy and unprocessed food prices, a measure the ECB calls core inflation, prices rose 0.1% on the month for a 2.6% year-on-year gain.
An even narrower measure, looked at by many economists, that also excludes alcohol and tobacco showed prices unchanged in the month and also up 2.6% from a year earlier.
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(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Kate Abnett)