(Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Governing Council member Mario Centeno warned that lifting interest rates too much to curb inflation risks having to partially reverse the moves down the line as the economy weakens.
While consumer-price data due this week are expected to show another all-time high for the 19-member euro zone, the risks of a recession are also rising amid the worsening energy crisis.
Centeno, who heads Portugal’s central bank, urged “measured and balanced” steps that can provide a “source of stability.”
“There’s one thing that I’m always worried about as a decision maker, and it’s not to be pushed to backtrack on this path that we have to follow,” Centeno told Bloomberg Television on Thursday from Vilnius, Lithuania.
“If we go back and forth, this will send mixed signals to the markets, to the agents, to our citizens -- that’s bad,” he said.
The comments appear to jar with other members of the ECB’s rate-setting panel who prefer a repeat of this month’s 75 basis-point hike at October’s meeting.
Centeno, who’d already urged officials to tread carefully and act in “as small steps as possible,” also cautioned against rushing the debate on shrinking the trillions of euros of bonds the ECB accumulated in past crises.
Debating so-called quantitative tightening too early risks having a destabilizing effect, he said.
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