BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone producer prices accelerated in May, driven by a surge in energy prices, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Friday.
Eurostat said prices at factory gates in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 1.3% month-on-month for a 9.6% year-on-year increase.
Changes in prices at factory gates are usually transmitted to final consumers and therefore herald trends in inflation that the European Central Bank targets with its monetary policy.
Euro zone inflation eased in June to 1.9%, levelling off for the summer months before an expected move well above the ECB’s target towards the autumn on higher commodity prices.
The ECB wants to keep consumer price growth “below but close to 2%” over the medium term.
The rise in intermediate goods’ prices remained the same in May against April, at 1.8%, with energy costs registering the third-biggest increase of 2.1%. But in year-on-year terms, energy contributed the most, with prices surging 25.1% against May 2020, while intermediate goods were up 9.2%.
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(Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine)