The Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) confirms that inflation in the euro area stood at 8.5% in February, down from 8.6% in January, as anticipated in the flash estimate earlier this month.

Also in February, annual inflation in the European Union was 9.9%, down from 10% in January, while in February 2022 the rate was 6.2%.

Compared with January, annual inflation fell in fifteen Member States, remained stable in two and increased in ten.

In Italy, the price increase was more than one point higher than the Eurozone average, with a rate of 9.8%.

The lowest rates were recorded in Luxembourg (4.8%), Belgium (5.4%) and Spain (6.0%), while the highest were recorded in Hungary (25.8%), Latvia (20.1%) and the Czech Republic (18.4%).

Last month, the biggest contributors to the Eurozone's annual inflation rate came from food, alcohol and tobacco (+3.10%), followed by services (+2.02%), non-energy industrial goods (+1.74%) and energy (+1.64%).

In the fourth quarter of 2022, hourly labour costs increased by 5.7% in the euro area and by 5.8% in the EU, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Wages per hour worked increased by 5.1% in the eurozone, while the non-wage component grew by 7.7%. In the EU, hourly earnings increased by 5.4% and the non-wage component by 7.2%.