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Russian gas cut to permanently increase inflation forecasts

EU to increase inflation forecasts as officials prepare for a permanent cut to Russian gas

July 13, 2022: -The eurozone economy is expected to meet higher inflation this year. In 2023, officials told CNBC on Monday; planning is being stepped up for the prospect of a permanent cut to Russian gas supplies.

Europe is under intense pressure in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, with higher energy costs pushing up inflation across the region. This economic reality will not change anytime soon, with recent forecasts pointing to an upward revision in consumer prices across the bloc.

“What we see economic growth proves quite resilient this year, still one can expect some downwards revision and even more so for the coming year because of many uncertainties and risks,” Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president at the European Commission, told reporters after a meeting of finance ministers.

“Unfortunately, inflation is continuing to surprise on the upside, so it’s again going to be revised upwards,” he further said.

On Thursday, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will present new economic forecasts.

In May, the institution is projecting a growth rate of 2.7% for this year and 2.3% for the coming year, both for the EU and the euro area.

In terms of inflation in the euro area, the commission said this would reach 6.1% in 2022 before decreasing to 2.7% in 2023.

Higher inflation could add more pressure to the European Central Bank, expecting to increase rates for the first time in 11 years.

Energy analysts think that the risk of a temporary interruption is high, particularly as Russian gas discharges have dropped by about 60% in recent months.

Regarding CNBC, Dombrovskis said the working assumption does not include a complete cut in Russian gas supplies in the future months. Although, this is “not a risk which we can exclude,” he said.

“We prepare at the EU level, but EU member states are preparing for this eventuality,” Dombrovskis said.

The commission will outline suggestions next week for how EU countries should prepare for the winter amid reduced gas supplies from Russia.

Europe has been independent of Russian gas supplies for several years, and critical industries rely on this commodity to work. This is the case in Germany, where chemical factories and steel production facilities use natural gas as a raw material.

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Russian gas cut to permanently increase inflation forecasts