Annual inflation in the eurozone rose to 7 percent in April according to the European Union’s statistics agency. This is the first increase after five consecutive months of declines. Customer prices edged up from 6.9 percent in March, which could cause the European Central Bank to raise interest rates on Thursday. Analysts at FactSet and Bloomberg had predicted the rate would remain stable.
The ECB has hiked rates repeatedly since July of last year to reign in inflation, and they are expected to raise them again. It is not clear how much these rates may increase this time. After Russia’s assault on Ukraine last year, energy prices increased and consumer prices were raised across the single currency area of the EU, hitting a peak of 10.6 percent in October. Inflation later fell thanks to a slowdown in the rate of energy price rises, but remains well above the 2 percent target of the ECB. Food and drink prices keep rising, but the pace of the increase has slowed to 13.6 percent in April after 15.5 percent in march. Energy prices increased 2.5 percent after falling 0.9 percent in March.