Latest news updates: Eurozone inflation hits 13-year high of 3.4%

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Eurozone inflation rose to its highest level for 13 years in September, lifted by soaring energy costs, in a move that is likely to increase pressure on the European Central Bank to start scaling back its monetary stimulus.

Consumer prices in the 19 countries that share the euro rose 3.4 per cent compared to a year ago, up from 3 per cent in August, according to an initial estimate published by the EU statistics office on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected inflation of 3.3 per cent.

The last time eurozone inflation was at a similar level, Lehman Brothers had just gone bankrupt, Jean-Claude Trichet was still running the ECB and the iPhone had only been on sale in Europe for a year.

Eurostat said the acceleration in prices was driven by a 17.4 per cent rise in energy costs from a year ago. The price growth of goods slowed from the previous month to 2.1 per cent, while services price growth accelerated to 1.7 per cent.

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