EU concerned over oil price surgeBy DPA, IANS
Thursday, February 24, 2011
BRUSSELS - The European Union Thursday expressed concern at the economic consequences of the surge in oil prices, which analysts have linked to the unrest in Libya, a major energy supplier.
A spokesman for the EU’s executive, the European Commission, said price hikes could exacerbate already existing inflationary pressures in the bloc, which have fuelled speculation of a possible interest rate rise by the European Central Bank.
“Indeed we are concerned: when one looks at the inflation figures… one sees that inflation is rising and that is very much the effect of increased energy prices,” Amadeu Altafaj told reporters in Brussels.
“No doubt rising energy prices can have a negative impact on inflation,” he added.
However, he insisted that other components of the inflation index - including services - remained stable.
Altafaj also said that EU economy commissioner Olli Rehn is due to present revised growth forecasts for the bloc March 1.