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Eurozone inflation inches toward double digits

The 9.9% inflation rate is higher than the U.S. but lower than the greater EU, where annual rates range from a low of 6.2% in France to a high of 24.1% in Estonia.

(CN) — Year-over-year inflation in the 19-nation eurozone stood at 9.9% in September, one point below the 10.9% annual inflation rate experienced in the broader 27-member European Union, according to a report released Wednesday by the EU statistics agency.

Over the past year, the eurozone and EU inflation rates have surged from 3.4% and 3.6%, respectively. From August to September, the rates rose 0.8% in both geographic areas, Eurostat reported.

Comparatively, the United States experienced an annual inflation rate of 8.2% during the same period.

In the eurozone - comprised of the the 19 nations that use the euro as their form of currency - the prices of some consumer goods and services have increased more than 10% over the past year, led by a 40.7% increase in the price of energy. The inflation rate for energy products more than tripled from 17.6% in September 2021 and represented a contribution of 4.19% to the September 2022 inflation rate in the eurozone, also known as the euro area.

Eurostat's contribution statistics show how much of the annual inflation rate comes from price increases for a group of consumer goods and services when measured over time. Food, alcohol and tobacco represented a 2.47% contribution to the eurozone inflation rate last month, followed by services at 1.8% and nonindustrial goods at 1.47%.

An employee pushes bread rolls into a gas heated oven at Cafe Ernst in Neu Isenburg, Germany, on Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

But price increases were more dramatic, as the eurozone recorded a 12.7% annual increase in the price of unprocessed food in September and a 11.5% increase in the price of processed food, alcohol and tobacco. The annual inflation rate for services was 4.3% last month, while nonindustrial goods increased 5.5% year-over-year.

Not all countries in the EU were hit as hard, however. France had the lowest annual inflation rate at 6.2%, followed by Malta with 7.4%, Finland with 8.4%, Ireland with 8.6% and Luxembourg with 8.8%. All other nations had 9% or higher.

The highest annual inflation rate in the EU belongs to Estonia with 24.1%. Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania were also north of 20%. Ten other countries were above the 10.9% EU average, including Denmark with 11.1%, Greece with 12.1% and the Netherlands with 17.1%.

Outside of the EU, Switzerland has an annual inflation rate of just 3.2% while Iceland has kept it to 5.9% and Norway is at 7.7%. While not EU member states, those countries participate in the bloc's single market.

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