Immense price hikes registered

Life keeps getting more expensive in Austria, figures presented today (Weds) show.Inflation rose by three per cent in February compared to the same month in 2010. This is the highest increase since October 2008 when the global economic downturn broke out. The price level soared by 3.1 per cent that month compared to October 2007.Last month’s three per cent price jump was fuelled by soaring car petrol (22 per cent) and mineral oil (30 per cent) prices. Statistik Austria announced that foodstuff prices climbed by 4.2 per cent. The statistic agency registered a 2.4 per cent increase in January compared to the same month in 2010.The price for gas edged up by three per cent last month compared to February 2010, while mobile phone conversations (minus 14.8 per cent) were significantly cheaper. Average prices for fruit (24 per cent) and coffee (16 per cent) rose significantly at the same time.The annual inflation increase of three per cent also means that prices climbed by 0.7 per cent to January 2011.Meanwhile, Eurostat announced that the average inflation rate in the Eurozone was 2.4 per cent. The term Eurozone describes the 17 of the overall 27 European Union (EU) member states which use the Euro as their currency. Austria introduced the Euro in 2002.Eurostat – the European Commission’s (EC) research and statistic authority – added that prices in the EU-27 increased by 2.8 per cent last month to February 2010.Ireland had the lowest inflation rate among EU members at 0.9 per cent, while Romanians were hit by the strongest price increase last month (7.6 per cent).Analysts have warned that the unrest in Libya and other oil-producing states in North Africa could mean further crude oil price jumps. Economists also said that the earthquake in Japan – the third-strongest national economy in the world – could have negative effects on the global economy. The natural disaster may cause rising consumer prices, they claimed.