ECB Hikes 75bps, Expects To "Raise Rates Further To Dampen Demand


HR Legend
Jun 14, 2005
With the firehose of stimulus promised to ‘combat’ higher energy prices, the ECB is in a real pickle.

The ECB hiked its deposit rate by 75bps from 0% to 0.75bps, the first time European rates are positive in over a decade (since July 2012) noting that "the Governing Council’s future policy rate decisions will continue to be data-dependent and follow a meeting-by-meeting approach." The ECB itself described today’s move as a “major step” that’s frontloading the transition toward a more neutral policy stance, and said that following the raising of the deposit facility rate to above zero, "the two-tier system for the remuneration of excess reserves is no longer necessary" and "the Governing Council therefore decided today to suspend the two-tier system by setting the multiplier to zero."

And since today's hike is paltry when compared to Europe's runaway inflation which is almost in the double digits, the central bank said - not once but twice - that it expects over the next several meetings to raise interest rates further "because inflation remains far too high and is likely to stay above target for an extended period" and "to dampen demand and guard against the risk of a persistent upward shift in inflation expectations."

Remarkably, the ECB is hiking even as it writes the following in its statement:

After a rebound in the first half of 2022, recent data point to a substantial slowdown in euro area economic growth, with the economy expected to stagnate later in the year and in the first quarter of 2023. Very high energy prices are reducing the purchasing power of people’s incomes and, although supply bottlenecks are easing, they are still constraining economic activity. In addition, the adverse geopolitical situation, especially Russia’s unjustified aggression towards Ukraine, is weighing on the confidence of businesses and consumers. This outlook is reflected in the latest staff projections for economic growth, which have been revised down markedly for the remainder of the current year and throughout 2023. Staff now expect the economy to grow by 3.1% in 2022, 0.9% in 2023 and 1.9% in 2024.