Prices in the eurozone continued their march higher in May, hitting a record high for the seventh month in a row.
Inflation came in at 8.1 percent for the month, according to preliminary figures from Europe’s statistics office Tuesday, up from April’s record high of 7.4 percent and higher than expectations of 7.8 percent.
It comes after inflation prints from several major European economies surprised to the upside in recent days.
German inflation (harmonized to be comparable with other EU nations) came in at an annual 8.7 percent in May, preliminary figures showed on Monday — significantly outstripping analyst expectations of 8 percent and marking a sharp incline from the 7.8 percent seen in April.
French inflation also surpassed expectations in May to a notch record 5.8 percent, up from 5.4 percent in April, while harmonized Spanish consumer prices jumped by an annual 8.5 percent in May, exceeding expectations of 8.1 percent.
Across the eurozone, the record annual consumer price increase was driven by soaring energy costs, which hit 39.2 percent (up from 37.5 percent in April) and a 7.5 percent increase in food, alcohol, and tobacco prices (up from 6.3 percent).
However, even without energy and food prices, inflation increased from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent, Eurostat added.
Rising prices have been exacerbated over recent months by the war in Ukraine, particularly food and energy costs, as exports are blocked and countries across the West scramble to reduce their reliance on Russian gas.