ECB policymakers have argued about future inflation, warned about the risk of a “regime shift” in prices and pushed for a bigger cut in asset purchases.
Some of the ECB’s more conservative governing council members were concerned about “upside risks” to the central bank’s inflation projection, according to the minutes of its September meeting, which were published by the central bank on Thursday.
The discussion focuses on how the recent spike in eurozone inflation to its highest level in more than a decade is causing disagreement among ECB rate-setters about how long the price surge will stay and whether the central bank should modify the monetary policy as a result.
Last month, the European Central Bank predicted that inflation will fall from 2.2 percent this year to 1.7 percent next year and 1.5 percent in 2023. According to the minutes, the majority of ECB council members agreed with the forecast. However, some council members expressed doubts about the central bank’s estimates after the central bank continuously miscalculated how high energy prices and supply constraints would force inflation above its 2% target this year.
Council Members Argued Inflation Would Exceed the ECB Forecasts
They added that the ECB’s recent decision to take growing house prices into consideration would “lead to a higher projected path for inflation.” According to figures released on Thursday, eurozone house prices rose 6.8% in the year to the second quarter, the most significant increase in 15 years.
Some council members predicted that policies to fight climate change and future rises in carbon prices would “likely contribute to sustained higher price pressures for several years.”
Since the September gathering, European gas prices have climbed sharply, and the cost of carbon credits has reached new highs of more than €60 per tonne.
ECB this month declared a “moderate” slowing in the pace of its €1.85 trillion emergency bond-buying program, which was initiated in response to the epidemic, in reaction to increasing inflation and improved financial conditions.
According to the minutes, several more hawkish policymakers urged for “a more considerable slowdown in the rate of purchases.” Others, however, refused.