Inflation in 19 countries using the euro sets a record 5.8% – 95.5 WSB

LONDON — (AP) — Inflation in Europe has hit a record high for the fourth straight month, raising questions about when the central bank should step in to ease the pain in people’s wallets as the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia shakes the world economy.

Consumer prices in the 19 countries that use the euro rose 5.8% a year in February, the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat reported on Wednesday.

The latest figures underscore the continued pain of consumers across the continent and add pressure on the European Central Bank as it ponders when and how to raise interest rates to dampen inflation.

The latest inflation reading broke the record 5.1% set last month to reach the highest level since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997.

Inflation in Europe, as in other major economies, has been fueled by soaring energy prices, and the problem will be complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia, a major oil and gas producer, has been hit with sanctions and export curbs that have raised fears that supply could be cut off, although that has yet to materialize.

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