LISBON (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has already made a large part of the necessary rate hikes to contain inflation in the euro zone, which is expected to reach its peak this quarter, ECB policymaker Mario Centeno said on Thursday.
The ECB has raised interest rates by a combined 200 basis points over the past three meetings, and markets are pricing in a string of further moves that would take the 1.5% deposit rate close to 3% in 2023.
In an interview with Portuguese newspaper Publico, Centeno said it was “very difficult to say what the highest value of interest rates” will be in the ongoing process of monetary normalization, after a period of abnormally low levels.
“There is an understanding (by the ECB) that a good part of the monetary policy effort that was expected to be done has already taken place … (but) it is really important that inflation reaches its peak,” he added.
He said expectations point to “inflation reaching a peak in the fourth quarter”, which if it materialises will offer “a very significant degree of predictability to monetary policy”.
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