According to Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistics agency, Estonia’s annual inflation was a whopping 19 per cent, which is by far the highest in the entire euro area.
Eurostat’s flash estimate says the average annual inflation in the entire eurozone was 7.5 per cent, up from 7.4 percent in March 2022.
Lithuania and Latvia had the second and third highest increases, at 16.6 per cent and 13.2 per cent, respectively.
Compared with March 2022, prices rose by 4.1% in Estonia, 2.5% in Latvia and 1.9% in Lithuania.
Estonia has also been hit with the largest electricity price hike and one of the largest gas price hikes in the entire EU.
“Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in April (38.0%, compared with 44.4% in March), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (6.4%, compared with 5.0% in March), non-energy industrial goods (3.8%, compared with 3.4% in March) and services (3.3%, compared with 2.7% in March),” the statistics agency said.
According to Emerging Europe, a London-based media outlet, the war in Ukraine has amplified economic forces already shaping the global recovery from the pandemic, increased commodity prices and intensified supply disruptions, adding to inflation.
“The most vulnerable countries in Central and Eastern Europe are the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – all expected to see double-digit inflation this year as a result of higher oil and natural gas prices,” the outlet says.
“Inflation has now become a clear and present danger,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the International Monetary Fund’s economic counsellor and director of research, told Emerging Europe.