Europe’s inflation inches up ahead of interest rate decision

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s painful inflation inched higher last month, extending the squeeze on households and keeping pressure on the European Central Bank to unleash another large interest rate increase. The European Union statistics agency Eurostat said Tuesday that consumer prices jumped 7% in April from a year earlier. That’s just up from the annual rate of 6.9% in March. Food price inflation eased a little, falling to an annual 13.6% from March’s 15.5%. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel, slowed slightly but was still high at 5.6%. That underlines the expectation that the ECB will press ahead with its campaign to beat inflation into submission with rate hikes.