BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone producer prices rose more than expected in July, data showed on Thursday, mainly because of a jump in the prices of energy and intermediate goods.
The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said prices at factory gates in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 2.3% month-on-month for a 12.1% year-on-year surge. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 1.1% monthly and an 11.0% annual rise.
Higher producer prices are often passed on to consumers and are therefore an early indication of consumer inflation trends. The European Central Bank wants to keep inflation at 2%, but the first estimate for consumer inflation in August was far above expectations at a 10-year high of 3.0%.
Eurostat said energy prices in July rose 5.7% month-on-month for a 28.9% year-on-year surge while the cost of intermediate goods rose 1.9% on the month and 12.6% from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)