Written by 8:02 am European Union

EU’s Gentiloni sees energy price caps curbing inflation in 2023

EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni shown in June 2021
EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni shown in June 2021

European inflation should moderate in 2023 if measures taken to cap the prices of Russian oil and gas prove to be effective, European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.

Gentiloni, in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy, said he’s convinced “parallel” initiatives from the Group of Seven industrialized nations and the European Commission will gradually reduce inflation. 

Energy price hikes have contributed to about 40% of Europe’s recent increases in consumer prices, he said, more than in the US.

“I’m not saying this is going back to what it was two years ago, of course, but it will reach a peak and it will begin to decline, possibly, next year,” Gentiloni said. 

His assessment lines up with the European Central Bank’s July survey of professional forecasters, taken before the latest round of energy price spikes, which sees euro zone inflation falling sharply in 2023 and further in 2024. 

The G-7’s finance ministers agreed on Friday on a plan to implement a global price cap on oil purchases from Russia that will kick in from December. Separately, the European Union is is considering options to impose a price limit for energy. 

The commissioner, who was Italy’s prime minister from 2016 to 2018, also said that Europe could do more to ease the energy crisis by focusing on common procurement, which he described as a key “step forward.”

Yet, designing a common strategy for energy purchases is “not easy, because oil and gas are not like vaccines. You have very long lasting contracts in different member states, different giant companies,” he said. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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