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Eurozone inflation hits 3.4 percent in September

Eurozone inflation hits 3.4 percent in September

Inflation will be on Monday’s Eurogroup docket as the 19 eurozone finance ministers meet.
Eurozone inflation increased by an annual 3.4 percent in September, according to early estimates from the EU’s statistics office on Friday.

Those numbers will likely trigger renewed calls for calm from the European Central Bank, which is mandated to keep inflation at 2 percent over the medium term. ECB President Christine Lagarde said just three days ago that “the key challenge is to ensure that we do not overreact to transitory supply shocks that have no bearing on the medium term.”

But EU bond markets are reflecting growing concern in the markets over inflation. And the latest figures signal a continued rise since July, when inflation reached 2.2 percent, and then 3 percent in August.

These pressures are also spilling over into labor markets. Some workers in Germany, for example, are going on strike to demand higher pay to match the country’s inflation rate, which hit 4.1 percent last month — a 29-year high.

A massive 17.4 percent spike in energy prices was a main factor in the higher inflation rate, according to Eurostat. However, core inflation, which excludes energy and other typically volatile components, was only 1.9 percent in September.

The subject will be on Monday’s Eurogroup docket as the 19 eurozone finance ministers meet and will be further discussed the following day with the rest of their EU peers.
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