Preview of the illumination at ECB headquarters for the Euro's 20th anniversary in Frankfurt
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ZURICH: The European Central Bank (ECB) will be required to continue raising interest rates if the current trend in consumer prices continues, according to Bundesbank president Joachim Nagel.
“Thursday’s step was a clear sign and if the inflation picture stays the same, further clear steps must follow,” Nagel told Deutschlandfunk in a radio interview.
He declined to comment on the size of such moves, saying the central bank was data-dependent.
The ECB tightened policy by a historic 75 basis points last week and officials are prepared to deliver another jumbo interest-rate increase at their October meeting if the inflation outlook warrants an additional big step, according to people familiar with the debate.
Inflation may peak at more than 10% in December, said Nagel, who’s headed the German central bank since January and is among the more hawkish members of the ECB’s rate-setting Governing Council.,
“In the course of 2023, the inflation picture is likely to weaken somewhat,” he said.
Still, the rate “is likely to be at a far-too-high level of over 6%”.
Speaking in a separate interview on Dutch television, ECB executive board member Frank Elderson said more hikes will come as “it’s very important that the expectations that the people have on how the inflation will develop in the medium to long term will not become unanchored”.
“It is vital that people and companies or actors in the economy in general maintain their trust that we as the ECB will reach our of target of 2% inflation,” Elderson told the Buitenhof TV show on Sunday.
Raising rates to fight inflation pressures may become more difficult if the region goes into recession, though Nagel said his clear challenge was “getting the inflation development under control again – and that is a shared belief within the ECB council, in my opinion”.
“In the end, stable prices are much more important for growth,” he said. — Bloomberg
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