Ekonomické zprávy

Do not expect an ECB rate cut at the next meeting - ECB policymaker

Peter Kazimir, European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member and Slovak central bank Governor, said the European Central Bank is recording more signs of lower inflation, but is unlikely to ease policy at its April meeting.

Last week, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that discussions on lowering interest rates had already begun, but more information was needed to make this decision.

"We need to wait until the June meeting, when new economic forecasts will appear. The current situation is clearly conducive to maintaining calm in the coming weeks and the first rate cut in the summer," Kazimir said, adding that he supports a smooth and steady cycle of policy easing.

Markets are currently expecting four interest rate cuts this year, with the first cut forecast in June. A clear majority of ECB policymakers also favored starting a monetary easing cycle in June, and some have privately floated the idea of further move in July.

"There is growing confidence among ECB policymakers that inflation will return to the target level (2%) in 2025. However, wage pressures still remain far too high, despite a noted slowdown," Kazimir warned.

Preliminary data published by Eurostat showed that the eurozone annual inflation slowed again in February, but was higher than economists' forecasts. Core inflation reached its lowest level since March 2022, but also exceeded consensus estimates. According to the report, the consumer price index rose by 2.6% per year after rising by 2.8% per year in January. Economists had expected an increase of 2.5%. Meanwhile, on a monthly basis, the consumer price index rose by 0.6%, offsetting the January decline (-0.4%). The core consumer price index - energy, food, alcohol & tobacco - rose by 3.1% per year after an increase of 3.3% per year in January. Economists had expected an increase of 2.9% per annum.

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