Inflation in Europe eases but still in painful double digits

Nov 29, 2022, 12:11 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2022, 4:47 am
FILE - People shop during Black Friday sales in Via del Corso in Rome, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Infla...

FILE - People shop during Black Friday sales in Via del Corso in Rome, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Inflation in the 19 countries that used the euro eased to 10% in November as fuel and utilities drifted down from painful highs, but it is still near the record levels that have robbed consumers of spending power and led economists to predict a recession. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP, file)

(Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP, file)

              Artworks and antique furniture are displayed inside a shop in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. Inflation in the 19 countries that used the euro eased to 10% in November as fuel and utilities drifted down from painful highs, but it is still near the record levels that have robbed consumers of spending power and led economists to predict a recession. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              FILE - People shop during Black Friday sales in Via del Corso in Rome, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Inflation in the 19 countries that used the euro eased to 10% in November as fuel and utilities drifted down from painful highs, but it is still near the record levels that have robbed consumers of spending power and led economists to predict a recession.  (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP, file)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Inflation in Europe has eased for the first time in more than a year as energy prices drifted down from painful highs, but the double-digit rate still hovers near a record that has robbed consumers of their spending power and led economists to predict a recession.

The consumer price index in the 19 countries that use the euro currency hit 10% in November from a year earlier, the European Union statistics agency Eurostat said Wednesday. That was a drop from 10.6% in October, the first decrease since June 2021.

The figure reflected prices for food, alcohol and tobacco rising faster, at a pace of 13.6% annually, even as energy prices slipped to a 34.9% rate of increase from an astronomical 41.5% in October.

Out-of-control inflation is being fed by high energy prices caused by Russia largely cutting off natural gas over the war in Ukraine as well as bottlenecks in supplies of raw materials and parts and rebounding demand after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ended.

French butchers and sausage-makers wearing red or white aprons protested Tuesday outside France’s lower house of parliament over the soaring prices of energy needed to refrigerate meat. Butcheries’ energy bills will quadruple, said Christian Nosal, president of Butcher’s Federation of the Grand-Est region.

“Prices have already gone up, and we can’t fully take on the increase of prices — the cost of living is already high, and we are in dire difficulties,” Nosal said. “Our fear is to see many butcheries closing at the end of this year or at the beginning of the next one.”

They are the latest to protest the soaring cost of living and wages failing to keep pace with inflation in Europe, with everyone from refinery workers to pilots and railway staff walking off the job in recent months in actions that have threatened political turmoil.

While rising prices have hit economies worldwide, they have taken a particularly high toll in Europe because of its dependence on Russian natural gas, which exporter Gazprom has reduced to a trickle. European leaders say it’s energy warfare due to their support for Ukraine.

However, natural gas prices have fallen from all-time highs this summer as Europe has largely filled its storage for winter with supplies from other countries and mild weather has reduced fears of a shortage during the heating season.

The November inflation figure supports predictions that the European Central Bank will slow its rapid rise in interest rates. The bank is expected to go with a half-percentage-point boost at its Dec. 15 meeting, instead of another rise of three-quarters of a point made at its last two meetings, according to economists at Oxford Economics.

They said inflation “should remain elevated,” while easing energy prices mean “that today’s data will very likely be followed by a gradual decrease in inflation for the eurozone.”

ECB President Christine Lagarde said Monday that she does not believe inflation has peaked after reaching record levels and that the bank isn’t through raising interest rates to combat those price spikes. The bank’s inflation target is 2%.

When looking at what is driving inflation, “whether it is food and commodities at large, or whether it is energy, we do not see the components or the direction that would lead me to believe that we have reached peak inflation and that it is going to decline in short order,” she told European lawmakers.

That means the central bank will “continue to tame inflation with all the tools that we have,” primarily interest rate hikes, Lagarde said.

___

Associated Press videojournalist Oleg Cetinic in Paris contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

People worship during Sunday services at the Mount Olive Cathedral CME Church, as the death of Tyre...
Associated Press

Memphis pastor prays for continued peace after video release

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Members of Mt. Olive Cathedral Church in Memphis gathered for worship on Sunday, two days after Tyre Nichols’ parents spoke from the sanctuary and called for peace following the release of video showing their son’s fatal beating at the hands of police. “We’ve had calm so far, which is what we […]
1 day ago
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, center, is welcomed by U.S. amb...
Associated Press

US urges donors to give far more as Somalia faces famine

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The first U.S. Cabinet member to visit Somalia since 2015 urged the world’s distracted donors Sunday to give immediate help to a country facing deadly famine, which she calls “the ultimate failure of the international community.” The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, heard perhaps the starkest warning yet […]
1 day ago
Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San Francisc...
Associated Press

Elon Musk’s mysterious ways on display in Tesla tweet trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk’s enigmatic personality and unconventional tactics are emerging as key exhibits in a trial revolving around one of his most polarizing pursuits — tweeting. The trial, centered on a pair of tweets announcing Musk had obtained the money to take Tesla private in 2018, reeled the 51-year-old billionaire into a […]
1 day ago
FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., pauses during a break in the taping of an interview ...
Associated Press

Biden, McCarthy to discuss debt limit in talks on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday he is looking forward to discussing with President Joe Biden a “reasonable and responsible way that we can lift the debt ceiling ” when the two meet Wednesday for their first sit-down at the White House since McCarthy was elected to the post. McCarthy, R-Calif., said […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Three kids, one adult killed in Iowa crash that also hurt 9

WELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the three children and one adult who died in a rollover crash in northern Iowa that also injured the nine other passengers Friday morning. The Iowa State Patrol said Marlin Borntreger, 1; Rebecca Borntreger, 2; Emma Borntreger, 4; and Ervin J. Borntreger, 22, all died. None of the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Iowa Democrats pick ex-House candidate as new state leader

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Democrats chose a failed Congressional candidate to lead their state party as they grapple with a series of election losses and an effort from the national party to take away its first-in-the-nation status in the presidential race. Rita Hart, the former state senator who lost a 2020 U.S. House […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Inflation in Europe eases but still in painful double digits