Eurozone economic growth declining, could reach zero
The stark increase in energy costs and the loss of Russian gas has slowed down Europe's economic growth.
Eurozone economic growth has been on a decline and could soon become zero, according to the vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB).
“We are seeing that in the third and fourth quarters there is a significant slowdown and we may find ourselves with growth rates close to zero,” said Luis de Guindos at a conference, as reported by Reuters.
Due to the stark increase in energy costs and the loss of Russian gas, economic output has been suffering. This has raised the risk of energy rationing in the next season, which will require a lot of heaters.
Euro area annual inflation, with the energy price increase, reached 9.1% as of August, and is expected to increase to 9.6% this month, reaching a record high.
Earlier this month, the ECB raise interest rates by 75 basis points, just weeks after pushing a 50-point increase with the aim of ameliorating inflation. The regulator notes that more hikes will be implemented, with another interest rate point increase coming in October.
However, the nature of the upcoming moves was not disclosed. The rates will rather be "rate-dependent."
Last week, de Guindos remarked that “Markets believe that the slowdown of the economy would reduce inflation by itself. Actually, this is... not right. Monetary policy has to make a contribution."
Earlier this month, EU energy minister gave the European Commission a mandate to limit gas prices. Surging costs of power linked to gas prices have already stunted the production of various industries, such as fertilizers and aluminum manufacturers, and prompted EU governments, such as Germany, to increase their spending by billions in order to help their citizens.
Italy and Germany are now the two largest European countries most exposed to a gas supply shock due to their extensive use of natural gas and significant reliance on Russia, according to S&P Global Ratings.