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Eurozone inflation surges as energy costs drive up prices

Inflation in the 13-member eurozone surged past the European Central Bank’s 2% target for the first time in 12 months, data released Friday showed.

The figures published by the European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat showed consumer prices in the eurozone jumping from an annual 1.7% in August to 2.1% this month on the back of big gains in commodity and food prices. The increase was in line with analysts’ forecasts. The release of the latest inflation figures comes amid signs that economic growth in the currency bloc is slowing as the US housing market crisis sends ripples across the global economy and the strong euro undercuts the eurozone’s key export machine. The figures showing the rise in inflation were also published as part of the build-up to next week’s meeting of the ECB’s rate-setting council, which this month shelved a planned rise in borrowing costs as a result of the recent round of market turmoil. (m&c.com)