The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) pictured on February 03, 2022 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes | Getty Images News | Getty Images
European Central Bank member Klaas Knot has refused to rule out a 50 basis point hike from the Frankfurt institution at its upcoming July meeting.
The ECB is assessing its next monetary policy move as it looks to rein in inflation running at record highs, with two more consumer price index readings due before policymakers meet.
Having confirmed the end of its bond-buying program in the third quarter of this year, markets increasingly expect the ECB to begin hiking interest rates over the summer. The US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have both imposed multiple rate rises so far this year.
ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Monday that the bank is likely to lift its deposit rate, which currently sits at -0.5%, out of negative territory by the end of September.
Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Dutch central bank president said he will be looking out for underlying dynamics in inflation which have the potential to influence inflation expectations.
“We can only afford gradualism if inflation expectations remain well-anchored. If you now look at the various measures of inflation expectations in the euro area, they are now what I would say at the upper limit of still being well-anchored,” Knot , known to be a more hawkish member of the bank, said.
He added that policymakers need to retain “full optionality” in order to adapt to new data that might challenge its current outlook.
German producer prices soared by 33.5% annually in April, prompting further de-anchoring concerns, and Bank of France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday that rate hikes from the ECB in July and September were now highly likely.
“A lot of this is energy, a lot of this is due to negative supply shocks. We stand for the difficult task to disentangle the negative supply shocks we’ve had from also very strong demand, and we have to respond to the demand side ,” Knot said.
He attributed the surging German PPI figure to this temporary supply shock, but reiterated the ECB’s focus on preventing energy inflation from entrenching underlying inflation.
Asked if a 50 basis point hike was off the table at the July and September meetings, Knot said: “No, as far as I’m concerned, not, and the way I read the blog of our president, it’s clearly not off the table.”