Mar 29, 2023
ECB’s Kazimir Says Hikes Should Persist But Maybe at Slower Pace
(Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank should push on with interest-rate increases despite the turbulence around the financial industry, though the pace of hikes may need to slow, according to Governing Council member Peter Kazimir.
Kazimir warned on Wednesday that there’s a “real risk” of banks curbing lending in the wake of the recent turmoil. When tracking inflation, core price pressures will be a key determinant in future rate decisions, he said.
“Personally I think we shouldn’t ease up if the base scenario doesn’t change significantly,” said Kazimir, who also heads Slovakia’s central bank. “We should continue hiking, maybe at slower pace.”
ECB officials are grappling with fears over the health of the banking industry alongside their longstanding battle with inflation. While they raised rates by a half-point this month, as planned, calls for more caution in future decisions are growing, especially with headline inflation estimated to be plunging.
As for the next meeting, in May, Kazimir said it’s too early to speculate on the outcome.
“We’ll decide on the basis of current data from the beginning of May,” he said. “We’ll also need to take into account the situation on financial markets, how markets will be willing to finance banks and offer them enough capital.”
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