Swedish finance minister says it is too early to know the impact of rising natural gas prices on growth prospects in Europe
It is too early to know what impact rising natural gas prices will have on the European economy, Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Thursday.
In comments to reporters at a press briefing in Washington and in a subsequent television interview, Andersson said the impact on the European economy depends on how policymakers “handle” higher prices. and the duration of these higher prices.
Energy prices are a hot topic behind the scenes at the annual IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington this week, Andersson said.
The prices of fossil fuels around the world are skyrocketing, leading some commodities professionals to call the current situation an “energy crisis” which could have far-reaching implications for consumers.
Read: Energy crisis? What the experts say
See also: Why consumers will pay much more for natural gas this winter
It was clear that governments need to help the most vulnerable and invest more in renewable energy, Andersson said. She was speaking in her capacity as President of the International Monetary and Financial Committee [IMFC], which provides strategic direction to the IMF.
“We can never let energy prices be used as an argument to slow down the green transition,” Andersson said.
Appearing at the same press conference, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva urged energy importing countries not to adopt “block subsidy programs” to offset rising energy prices.
She said it was essential for governments to invest more in renewable energy.