The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, Aug. 31, edition that a chorus of European Central Bank policy makers called for decisive and swift rate hikes on Tuesday to combat soaring inflation. A Reuters dispatch to The Globe reports that with inflation likely hitting 9 per cent this month before heading toward double-digit territory on soaring gas prices, policy makers are increasingly worried that even long-term expectations may move above the ECB's 2-per-cent target, indicating a loss of confidence in the bank's inflation-fighting powers.
That leaves the choice for next week largely between a 50- and a 75-basis-point hike after the ECB raised the deposit rate by 50 basis points to zero last month in its first hike in over a decade. Dutch central bank chief Klaas Knot and Estonia's Madis Muller both said that 75 basis points should at least be discussed while Bundesbank chief Joachim Nagel argued for swift action, praising the benefits of front-loading moves.
Mr. Knot, who said he was leaning toward a 75-basis-point move, added that given the scarcity of labour, firms are likely to "hoard" workers in the initial phase of a downturn, so this recession would not shake the economy as some expect.
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