Mario Centeno, a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, said on Monday that decisions following the increasingly likely 50 basis point (bps) interest rate hike expected later this month should be based on macroeconomic indicators.
“We have to analyze very carefully what the March forecasts will be. It is the most important data we will have to guide our future decisions,” Centeno told La Stampa newspaper.
On Sunday, ECB President Christine Lagarde said core inflation in the euro zone would remain high in the near term, making a 50 basis point hike by the end of this month increasingly certain.
The ECB has already raised rates by 3 percentage points since July and virtually promised another half-percentage-point hike on March 16.
“If you ask me what will happen after March, I think it’s important to take seriously the estimates we’ll have in a few days’ time,” Centeno said, adding that the process of raising the main interest rate had been too fast.
“This had never happened, never gone so fast. We need a little patience to allow this 300 basis points increase to have an impact on inflation, because that’s our main goal,” he said.