Spurred by higher energy prices, the euro area annual inflation rate rose to 5.0% in December 2021, the highest on record, the European Union’s statistics office reported on Thursday.

The annual inflation rate was 4.9% in November 2021 and minus 0.3% in December 2020, according to figures published by Eurostat.

“The highest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from energy (2.46 percentage points), followed by services (1.02 percentage points), non-energy industrial goods (0.78 percentage point) and food, alcohol & tobacco (0.71 percentage point),” read the report.

EU annual inflation increased to 5.3% in December 2021, up from 5.2% in November, while the rate was 0.3% in December 2020.

Compared with November, annual inflation fell in seven member states, remained stable in two, and increased in 18.

The highest annual inflation rate of 12% was seen in Estonia, followed by Lithuania at 10.7% and Poland at 8%.

Malta (2.6%), Portugal (2.8%) and Greece (3.2%) had the lowest inflation rates in December.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were up 0.5% in the EU and 0.4% the euro area in December.

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