U.S. not alone in inflation battle, Eurozone hits 8.1% inflation as energy costs soar

The 19 eurozone countries are experiencing a record rise in inflation.

Updated: May 31, 2022 - 8:31am

Eurozone inflation hit a record 8.1% in May as energy and food costs surged partially due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The European Union statistics agency posted its latest figures on Tuesday. They exceeded the previous record for inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro, which was 7.4% in March and April. Inflation in the eurozone is hitting its highest ever level since recording began in 1997. 

Energy prices have jumped an astounding 39.2% as families across the Atlantic deal with many of the same financial concerns that families in the U.S. have been discussing around the kitchen table.

"Energy inflation is likely to remain higher for longer than previously expected," Andrew Kenningham, the chief European economist at Capital Economics, told the Associated Press. The European Union recently agreed to an embargo on most Russian oil imports by the end of the year, which will continue to drive prices up.

Brent crude oil, the international standard, reached $120 barrel following the embargo. Oil and gas prices were already spiking over supply fears due to the war out of Russia in combination with increased demand and a cautious approach to ramping back up production from OPEC.

Food prices shot up 7.5% in May as well. Russia's war with Ukraine has also disrupted the international agricultural market as Ukraine is a major global supplier of wheat and other commodities. 

Britain, though not on the euro, is – like the U.S. – also experiencing a dramatic rise in inflation.

The U.S. inflation rate in May to was 6.3%, compared to the previous year.

The latest round of inflation figures across the spectrum of advanced Western economies is adding pressure on officials to raise interest rates from very low levels in order to try and get a hold of the soaring prices of goods and services.