Euro zone producer prices rise slightly less than expected in Sept

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BRUSSELS – Eurozone producer prices rose slightly less than expected in September, thanks to a slowdown in energy costs, but were still 41.9% higher than a year earlier, warning of continued upward pressure on consumer prices, data showed on Friday.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said industrial output prices in the 19 countries that share the euro rose 1.6% month-on-month in September, just below the 1.7% forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

Energy prices rose 3.3% month-on-month and 108.2% year-on-year, but that was a slowdown from August’s 11.8% month-on-month and 117.1% year-on-year rise.

Excluding the highly volatile energy component, producer prices rose just 0.4% month-on-month and 14.5% year-on-year.

Producer prices are an early indicator of consumer inflation trends because changes in factory-gate prices are usually passed on, with a delay, to the final consumer.

Consumer inflation hit a new record of 10.7% year-on-year in October, according to Eurostat’s first estimates earlier this week, driven mainly by rising energy and food prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Central Bank wants to keep consumer inflation at 2.0% and has aggressively raised interest rates to curb rising prices with more rate hikes expected in December.

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