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

The euro zone economy is expected to face higher inflation both this year and in 2023, officials told CNBC on Monday, while plans are being stepped up for the prospect of a permanent cut to Russian gas supplies.

Europe has been under intense pressure in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with higher energy costs pushing up inflation across the region. This economic reality is unlikely to change anytime soon, with new forecasts pointing to an upward revision in consumer prices across the bloc.

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

“Unfortunately, inflation continues to surprise on the upside, so it’s once again going to be revised upwards,” he added.

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

Back in May, the institution projected a growth rate of 2.7% for this year and 2.3% for next year, both for the EU and the euro area.

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

Higher inflation could add further pressure to the European Central Bank, which is expected to raise rates for the first time in 11 years next week.

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