European Central Bank again raises interest rates

Frankfurt, March 17 : The European Central Bank (ECB) has again raised interest rates by another 50 basis points (bps), citing spiraling inflation in the eurozone. After the rate hike, the interest rates on the main refinancing operations, on the marginal lending facility and on the deposit facility will be increased to 3.5 per cent, 3.75 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively, reports Xinhua news agency. "Inflation is projected to remain too high for too long," the central bank said in a statement on Thursday. The decision reflected the bank's determination to bring inflation down to its 2 per cent target. The 50 bps rate hike on Thursday was pre-committed at the ECB Governing Council's previous rate-setting meeting. The latest 50 bps hike of interest rates by the ECB was in February. The latest ECB staff macroeconomic projections in March revised down inflation forecasts in the eurozone, with ECB staff projecting inflation to be 5.3 per cent in 2023, 2.9 per cent in 2024 and 2.1 per cent in 2025. In contrast, the underlying price pressures remain strong, the central bank said. Inflation excluding energy and food, which is also referred to as core inflation, is projected to average 4.6 per cent in 2023, higher than the December projections. While price pressures remain high, economic growth projections are looking up. The ECB staff expects the eurozone economy to grow by 1 per cent in 2023 and by 1.6 per cent in 2024 and 2025. /IANS


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