ECB to hike interest rates, likely to trim bank subsidies

Finance MARKET_WATCH

The European Central Bank will raise interest rates again on Thursday and likely reel in a key subsidy to commercial banks, taking another big step in tightening policy to fight off a historic surge in inflation.

 

Fearing that rapid price growth is becoming entrenched, the ECB has already raised rates at the fastest pace on record, and there is little let-up in sight as unwinding a decade worth of stimulus could take it well into next year and beyond.

The ECB is almost certain to raise its 0.75% deposit rate by 75 basis points - for a cumulative 2 percentage-point increase in three meetings - and signal that it is not yet done, even if the size of subsequent moves remains open to debate.

 

But in a potentially more important decision, the bank is also likely to take the first steps in reducing its 8.8 trillion euro balance sheet, bloated by years of debt purchases and ultra cheap loans extended to banks.

The rate decision is likely to be the easy part of Thursday's meeting.

 

Unlike in September, no policymaker has openly opposed the idea of a 75 basis-point hike on Thursday, and markets have fully priced in such a move, suggesting an easy unanimity, especially since the U.S. Federal Reserve has also hinted at a similar increase.

But ECB President Christine Lagarde is likely to provide only vague guidance about future moves, arguing that more hikes are likely but incoming data and new economic projections in December will be key.


 

 

 

Source : ECB to hike interest rates, likely to trim bank subsidies

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