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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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101% spike in EU energy costs spurs 36% increase industrial producer prices

Data released by Eurostat quantifies the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine War on the neighboring EU’s economy.

(CN) — Industrial prices have risen more than 36% in the European Union over the last year, including a 5.4% spike between February and March, according to data published by Eurostat on Tuesday.

Though prices have steadily increased since the summer of 2020, the trend has largely been driven by the rising cost of energy.

Energy prices in the EU jumped 11.6% between February and March, coupled with minor increases in intermediate, nondurable, capital and durable goods of less than 3% each. Without calculating in energy, prices of goods would have only increased 2%.

Between March 2021 and this year, energy prices increased 101% across the EU. All other industrial producer price increases totaled 14.1%.

The European Central bank cites rising costs of energy and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as driving forces behind the EU’s record high 7.5% inflation.

The EU imports more than a quarter of its crude oil from Russia, along with 46% of solid fuel and 40% of natural gas.

Russia cut off natural gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria last week, further exasperating costs of energy for the EU which has backed Ukraine in the conflict.

To make up shortages, the EU is looking to source liquefied natural gas imports from the U.S. and increasing imports from North Africa and the Middle East. Still, experts say it will be very difficult to fully replace Russian energy any time soon.  

Energy only makes up about 10% of EU household spending, with about 40% going to services and 20% to food, alcohol and tobacco. While energy consumption decreased across the EU in 2020, rising prices are likely to offset any reported savings.

Energy imports vary across member states, with Cyprus importing 100% of its energy. France and Croatia import more than three-quarters of their energy. Several countries import less than a quarter of their energy, including Lithuania, Spain, Luxembourg, Poland and Italy, according to Eurostat. Both Poland and Bulgaria largely relied on Russia for natural gas imports.

Ireland reported the highest monthly increases in industrial producer prices in March at 36%, followed by Greece and Portugal with 8% spikes. Slovakia reported the only decrease in industrial production prices, down 1%, while Malta reported prices remaining stable.

Ireland also reported the highest year-over-year increases in industrial production prices at 106%, followed by Romania (67%) and Denmark (62%).

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Categories / Economy, Energy, International

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