The European Central Bank (ECB) would be ready to raise interest rates again if necessary, new ECB Governing Council member Athanasios Orphanides said in a German newspaper interview published on Thursday.
Orphanides, who has been attending Governing Council meetings for some time in the lead-up to Cyprus adopting the euro on January 1, told Handelsblatt he shared the concerns of other policymakers "who are extremely worried about inflation".
"Just because the ECB Governing Council waited for the turn of the
year does not mean that it should not be ready to raise interest rates
further if that was necessary," he was quoted as saying.
ECB staff projections for inflation to likely fall under two per cent
in 2009 were too optimistic in that they expected the current spike in
food and commodity prices not to feed into wage demands and price
setting, he said.
Countries including Cyprus indexed wage increases to inflation, which hit a six-and-a-half year high in the euro zone of 3.1 per cent in
November, with a similar rate expected for December. (Reuters)
ECB ready to raise rates if needed