European Union Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

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European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said on Tuesday that factors contributing to high inflation in the European Union will diminish, but not earlier than in the second half of the year.

"It is clear that the factors driving to high inflation in the EU will decline, will fade, but probably not as soon as we expected, so probably in the second part of the year and not before, we will have our forecast in February the 11th, the Commission forecast," Gentiloni said in a doorstop interview on arriving to the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.

Earlier in the month, the EU Statistics Office revealed data showing that annual inflation in Euro zone is estimated to reach record 5 per cent in December, hitting its highest level in 13 years, with the prices soaring mainly in Lithuania by 10.7 per cent and Estonia by 12 per cent.

As the European Central Bank (ECB) argued, the key drivers of high inflation in the EU include swift reopening of European economy amid slower pace of lifting COVID-19 restrictions and energy prices' uptick worldwide. The annual inflation rate in the energy sector exceeded 26 per cent last year.

The ECB forecast earlier that the inflation will decrease over the course of 2022.

Source: ANI / Sputnik