BERLIN/TOKYO -- Inflation continues to rage in Europe, with monthly consumer prices rising faster than in the U.S. and Japan on a year-on-year basis. By one estimate, roughly 50% of price increases in Europe stem from local companies passing higher costs on to consumers or jumping on the inflation bandwagon. As price increases outpace wage growth, consumption has sagged in the region.
Earlier in the year, Britain's Competition and Markets Authority put several major supermarket chains, such as Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco, on its watch list over their alleged profiteering during a cost-of-living crisis. The businesses were later cleared of the charge, but the view remains strong that higher prices have been caused by "greedflation," or corporate price gouging.