The Chief Economist of the European Central Bank, Philip Lane, has said there will probably be several more interest rate increases this year and early next year before they are brought back to what he described as 'a more normal level'.

Philip Lane made his remarks in an interview with RTÉ News in which he also said the possibility of a recession in the euro area can’t be ruled out.

Mr Lane said the ECB had taken a "major step" in raising rates by three quarters of one percent earlier this month.

But he said there would be several more increases in rates later this year and into the early part of next year.

He also said that even under the baseline scenario of the Bank, growth in the Euro area would stagnate later this year and the possibility of a mild or technical recession cannot be ruled out. He said it wouldn’t be like the major recession of 15 years ago.

He said supports should be given to people who need them to cope with energy prices but they should also be temporary.

Mr Lane said governments will have to come up with ways to balance this with those who can afford to pay higher energy prices.