Inflation across the euro area is forecast to have risen to 7.5% in April, according to the latest "flash" estimate from EU's statistical service Eurostat.

This compares to a rate of 7.4% in March.

Energy inflation, which still accounts for around half of all inflation, rose on an annual basis by 38%. However, this was a decline of 3.7% on the rate recorded in March.

Food and alcohol prices rose further to an annual rate of 6.4%, compared to 5% in March.

Unprocessed food rose at an annual rate of 9.2%, compared to a rate of 7.8% in March, today's figures show.

Inflation in Ireland is forecast to have risen from 6.9% in March to 7.3% in April, the CSO said today.

Commenting on the data published today, Colin Cotter, a statistician with the CSO, said that looking at the components of the flash HICP in Ireland for this month, energy is estimated to be down 1.7% in the month and up 39.1% since April 2021.

"There was a similar result for the euro zone overall, with energy prices down by 3.7% in the month and up by 38.0% on an annual basis," he added.

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Today's figures make uncomfortable reading for European Central Bank policymakers already worried that rapid price growth could become entrenched, creating a hard-to-break wage-price spiral.

Underlying prices, which filter out volatile energy and food prices, also jumped.

This will add to the ECB's worries that high inflation may prove tough to beat and that a nearly decade-long fight with ultra-low price growth is over.

Inflation excluding food and fuel prices, closely watched by the ECB, rose to 3.9% from 3.2% while a narrower measure that also excludes alcohol and tobacco products, jumped to 3.5% from 2.9%.

Both figures were well above expectations.

Struggling to curb price growth, the ECB is all but certain to cut support for the economy further when policymakers meet on June 9, even if the war weighs on confidence and risks pushing growth into negative territory this quarter.

It will first end bond purchases, probably in July, then consider a rate hike sometime in the third quarter with a second rate move expected before the close of the year.

ECB policymakers' big concern is that longer-term inflation expectations are rising well above their 2% target, indicating waning confidence in its ability to control prices and ultimately deliver on its mandate.

A key gauge of long-term inflation expectations rose to 2.5% but even some survey based indicators are now showing readings above 2%.

Markets are currently pricing in 90 basis points of rate hikes for this year or between three and four hikes, which would put the ECB's -0.5% deposit rate back into positive territory for the first time since 2014.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Environment, Climate Action and Communications has said there are no plans for any additional reliefs for householders to help deal with higher energy prices.

Eamon Ryan said any additional supports will be delivered in the context of the budget in October.

He was speaking at the launch of the first large scale land based solar farm connected to the electricity grid located near Ashford in Co Wicklow.

The Minister said developing renewable sources of energy is the best way to protect consumers in Ireland from rising energy prices.

Additional reporting from Reuters and George Lee