Official data have revealed that inflation in Germany, Spain and France, three economic powers in the eurozone, has jumped in August over rising energy prices as the single-currency bloc continues to grapple with economic woes. Figures released by Germany’s national statistics office, Destatis, on Wednesday suggest that the inflation in Europe’s powerhouse has been pushed above the threshold determined by the European Central Bank (EBC) in August due to the rise in energy prices.
The office announced in a statement that inflation stood at 2.1 percent year-on-year last month while the ECB seeks to keep inflation close to, but below, 2 percent.Destatis further highlighted that energy prices were up 7.6 percent in August compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile fresh data showed that fuel prices increased the annual inflation in debt-ridden Spain to 2.7 percent in August from 2.2 percent in July. A report by Spain’s National Statistics Institute indicated that it was the second straight monthly increase in inflation, confirming preliminary data released two weeks earlier. Also on the same day France's National Statistics Institute (INSEE) reported that inflation in the recession-bound country jumped in August to give an unadjusted reading of 2.1 percent over 12 months, pulled strongly by oil prices. “The price rise in August is explained by the rise of the price of energy, by the seasonal rise in the price of manufactured goods after the holiday sales period and by the prices of some services linked to tourism,” INSEE said. The recent developments come while a series of anti-austerity strikes hit the cash-strapped Greece whose government strives to finalize a fresh austerity package. Teachers, medical workers and municipal staff have staged separate protests against government plans for more cutbacks and layoffs while civil servants and security staff are preparing to hold a rally later in the day. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries. MR/JR/AZ