Eurozone inflation hits 13-year high amid escalating energy prices


The euro area annual inflation rate came at 3.4 percent in September, up from 3% in August, according to data by the statistical office Eurostat.
That’s the highest level in 13 years, according to the data, which showed that European Union annual inflation was 3.6% last month, compared with 3.2% in August. A year earlier, the rate was 0.3%.
The lowest annual rates were registered in Malta (0.7%), Portugal (1.3%) and Greece (1.9%), Eurostat said. The highest annual rates were recorded in Estonia, Lithuania (both 6.4%) and Poland (5.6%).
“In September, the highest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from energy (+1.63 percentage points, pp), followed by services (+0.72 pp), non-energy industrial goods (+0.57 pp) and food, alcohol & tobacco (+0.44 pp),” said the report.
On the other hand, surging prices for gas in the European Union exposed enterprises across the bloc to serious risks of closing down, according to the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The price of November futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands increased to $1,155 per 1,000 cubic meters on Wednesday, or €96 per megawatt hour in household terms.
On Tuesday, gas prices saw a surge of more than 20%, with Europe continuing to struggle to meet increasing demand ahead of the winter season and with gas storage facilities on the continent less than full.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which could deliver the additional gas supplies that Europe needs, continues to face bureaucratic hurdles in Brussels.
At the same time, Russia’s Gazprom did not book additional capacities for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine for November, which were offered by the Ukrainian operator GTS.
“While Gazprom has honoured its long term contracts with us, it did not respond to higher demand, as it did in previous years. So Europe is today too reliant on gas,” the EC president said.
Von der Leyen stressed that the current prices for “the blue fuel” are pushing electricity costs higher across the EU. She added that households may hardly make ends meet, while companies are running risks of closing.
The official hit the theme of strategic importance to be less reliant on energy imports. She called for doubling down on a swift transition to clean energy like solar and wind, which can be domestically produced and will ultimately be a lot cheaper than imported fossil fuels.