BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone producer prices rose slightly less than expected in September thanks to some deceleration of energy costs, but were still 41.9% higher than a year earlier, heralding continued upward pressure on consumer prices, data showed on Friday.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said industrial producer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 1.6% month-on-month in September, just below the 1.7% forecast by economists polled by Reuters.
Energy prices jumped 3.3% on the month and 108.2% year-on-year, but that was a deceleration from the 11.8% monthly and 117.1% annual surge in August.
Without the highly volatile energy component, producer prices rose only 0.4% month-on-month and 14.5% year-on-year.
Producer prices are an early indication of consumer inflation trends because changes in prices at factory gates are usually carried over, with a delay, to the final consumer.
Consumer inflation hit a new record high of 10.7% year-on-year in October, first Eurostat estimates showed earlier this week, fuelled mainly by surging energy and food prices in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The European Central Bank wants to keep consumer inflation at 2.0% and has been aggressively rising interest rates to curb price growth with more rate hikes expected in December.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)