Euro Area: Inflation hits new record high in February
Harmonized inflation surged to 5.8% in February, from January’s 5.1% reading and marking the highest print since records began in 1997. Inflation therefore moved further above the European Central Bank’s target rate of 2.0%. February’s result was due to faster increases in prices for food, alcohol and tobacco, energy, non-energy industrial goods, and services.
On a monthly basis, harmonized consumer prices jumped 0.9% in February, above January’s 0.3% increase. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and unprocessed foods prices, rose to 2.9% in February from January’s 2.4%, marking the highest print since records began.
Commenting on the release, Bert Colijn, senior economist at ING, stated:
“As the situation regarding Russia and Ukraine changes so rapidly at the moment and no one can predict what the actual economic impact will be, expect the ECB to refrain from big commitments around its policy for the coming year. We think that the December commitments around ending the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) at the end of the month and increasing the asset purchase programme (APP) from April will hold, but don’t expect much more in these times of high uncertainty.”