Jan 30, Kathmandu: The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to step up its anti-inflation efforts with a new rate hike on Thursday as the euro group faces its worst financial crisis.
The ECB launched the toughest monetary policy tightening in its history after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and rising energy and food costs, which are the euro's single currency. The ECB raised interest rates by 2.5 percentage points from July to 10.6 percent in October to control rising consumer prices.
This is five times more than the bank's target. Although interest rates are still high, inflation has started to slow down, giving hope that the ECB's efforts will be successful. Recent data, including a major survey showing that Europe's economy is starting to grow again, have raised hopes that the eurozone will avoid a sharp recession.
ECB President Christine Lagarde has repeatedly expected interest rates to rise at a steady pace and the bank will agree to a 50 basis point hike on Thursday."The reason for the 50 (basis point) rate hike is clear as the ECB's work is not done," said ING economist Carsten Brzeski.