Eurozone inflation accelerated in July, hitting another record high. Compared to the same month last year, consumer prices increased by 8.9 percent, as the statistics office Eurostat announced on Friday.

This is the highest rate since the euro was introduced as book money in 1999. In the previous month, consumer prices rose by 8.6 percent. Experts had expected an acceleration to 8.7 percent.

Inflation was again driven by energy prices, which rose by 39.7 percent compared to the same month last year. However, the increase was somewhat weaker than in the previous month. On the other hand, the rise in prices for food and beverages accelerated from 8.9 to 9.8 percent.

Core inflation, which does not take into account prices for energy, food and luxury goods that are particularly susceptible to fluctuations, rose from 3.7 to 4 percent. The three Baltic states again had the highest inflation rates in the currency area at more than 20 percent. In Germany, the inflation rate calculated according to European standards was 8.5 percent.

Just over a week ago, the European Central Bank raised its key interest rates for the first time in eleven years. Compared to other central banks, the ECB’s reaction is late, although its inflation target of two percent has been clearly exceeded for some time.