Inflation in the eurozone jumped to 4.1% in the year to July. According to Eurostat, the EU statistics office, it was the highest since the measurements began in 1997.
Inflation in June in the 15 nation bloc was 4.0%, also well above the European Central Bank's target of 2.0%.
Meanwhile, unemployment in the euro zone has unexpectedly risen - a sign that economic growth is slowing.
Eurostat revised its May unemployment number up from 7.2% to 7.3% and said it had remained at that level in June.
Unemployment in Spain soared to 10.7% - the highest among euro nations and in the 27-nation European Union. The rate was 7.3% in Germany, Europe's largest economy.
The European Central Bank increased its key interest rate on 3 July for the first time in a year. Rates rose to 4.25% from 4%.