ECB’s Stournaras: rates have likely peaked, next move is a cut: Boersen-Zeitung
European Central Bank (ECB) interest rates have likely peaked and its next move is expected to be a cut, Greek central bank chief Yannis Stournaras told German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung, pushing back on colleagues keeping another hike in play.
The ECB raised rates for the 10th straight time last week but signalled a pause, with markets taking its guidance to mean an end to the steepest pace of policy tightening for the 20-nation euro area.
While many policymakers, mostly conservatives from the bloc’s north, are keeping another rate hike firmly on the table, Stournaras said even the last move was not necessarily justified and excessive policy tightening created financial stability risks.
“I think we have reached the interest rate peak,” Boersen-Zeitung quoted him as saying on Thursday. “As things stand, I assume that our next step will be an interest rate cut.”
He said it was premature to discuss policy easing as rates would need to stand at their current level for a sufficiently long period, a time frame he assumes to mean a “few months”.
Markets see a modest chance of a rate cut next June while a cut is nearly fully priced in by July.
Some conservative policymakers have predicted a longer period of steady rates, arguing a cut in the first half of next year is unlikely.
Stournaras said that inflation, still above 5%, would fall back to the ECB’s 2% target by the end of 2025, or somewhat earlier.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, Editing by Mark Potter)