Consumer costs in the 19-member currency bloc soared in June, statistics show

Consumers in the Eurozone continued to cut spending on food, drinks, and tobacco last month amid a spike in prices, EU statistics office Eurostat reported on Wednesday.

Data shows that costs rose by 8.9% last month on an annual basis, compared with 7.5% growth in May.

Despite a marginal overall increase in retail spending, sales of food, drinks, and tobacco fell on the month by 0.3%, compounding the 2.3% slump recorded in April.

Inflation has been rising steadily in the Eurozone for more than a year, reaching 8.6% in June. It is currently four times higher than the target set by the European Central Bank (ECB). The regulator, which has vowed to tackle the surge in prices, is due to meet in late July to start raising interest rates.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said earlier this week that if the inflation outlook does not improve, “we will have sufficient information to move faster.”

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