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Inflation in Europe increases to 7.5%

European statistical experts said Friday that inflation in the European Union reached 7.5% in March, nearly two points higher than what it was in February. File Photo by symbiot/Shutterstock
European statistical experts said Friday that inflation in the European Union reached 7.5% in March, nearly two points higher than what it was in February. File Photo by symbiot/Shutterstock

April 1 (UPI) -- European statistical experts said Friday that inflation in the European Union area reached 7.5% in March, nearly two points higher than what it was in February.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has continued for more than six weeks, and sanctions against the continent's energy leader are having global effects. Economists from Eurostat said inflation was 5.9% the month before.

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"Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in March (44.7%, compared with 32% in February), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (5%, compared with 4.2% in February), non-energy industrial goods (3.4%, compared with 3.1% in February) and services (2.7%, compared with 2.5% in February)," Eurostat said.

The dramatic increase stands in contrast to a year ago when inflation sat at 1.3%, under the 2% target rate set by the European Central Bank.

Challenges are likely to continue for the Eurozone with Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing this week that foreign buyers of natural gas from "unfriendly countries" must pay in rubles starting Friday or their supplies would be cut off.

The European Union receives 40% of its natural gas from Moscow, mainly through pipelines.

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