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Eurozone inflation confirmed at record high in June

Annual inflation in the euro zone was confirmed at a record high of 4% in June, the European Union’s statistics bureau Eurostat said on Wednesday.

The price index was up from 3.7% in May and 1.9% a year earlier. It was the highest level since measurements began in 1997 and stayed well above the 2% ceiling preferred by the European Central Bank (ECB) to maintain price stability. Pushed by surging oil and food prices, inflation in the euro zone has been rising in recent months.

Figures showed energy prices rose by 16% on a yearly basis in June, while food prices registered an annual growth of 6.4%. Fuels for transport, heating oil and milk, cheese and eggs again had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while garments, cars and telecommunications had the biggest downward impacts.

In order to contain inflation, the Frankfurt-based ECB raised its benchmark interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point early this month to 4.25%, after keeping it unchanged for a year in face of a slowing economy. In the 27-nation EU, annual inflation also rose to 4.3% in June, up from 4.0% in May. It was 2.1% a year ago. Among the 27 member states, the lowest annual rate was observed in the Netherlands, which was 2.3%. Latvia again registered the highest rate of 17.5%. (Xinhua)