Inflation continues to decline but is still expected to remain too high for too long. The Governing Council is determined to ensure that inflation returns to its 2% medium-term target in a timely manner. It therefore today decided to raise the three key ECB interest rates by 25 basis points.
The rate increase today reflects the Governing Council’s assessment of the inflation outlook, the dynamics of underlying inflation, and the strength of monetary policy transmission. The developments since the last meeting support the expectation that inflation will drop further over the remainder of the year but will stay above target for an extended period. While some measures show signs of easing, underlying inflation remains high overall. The past rate increases continue to be transmitted forcefully: financing conditions have tightened again and are increasingly dampening demand, which is an important factor in bringing inflation back to target.
The Governing Council’s future decisions will ensure that the key ECB interest rates will be set at sufficiently restrictive levels for as long as necessary to achieve a timely return of inflation to the 2% medium-term target. The Governing Council will continue to follow a data-dependent approach to determining the appropriate level and duration of restriction. In particular, its interest rate decisions will continue to be based on its assessment of the inflation outlook in light of the incoming economic and financial data, the dynamics of underlying inflation, and the strength of monetary policy transmission.
The Governing Council also decided to set the remuneration of minimum reserves at 0%. This decision will preserve the effectiveness of monetary policy by maintaining the current degree of control over the monetary policy stance and ensuring the full pass-through of the interest rate decisions to money markets. At the same time, it will improve the efficiency of monetary policy by reducing the overall amount of interest that needs to be paid on reserves in order to implement the appropriate stance.
The details of the change to the remuneration of minimum reserves are provided in a separate press release to be published at 15:45 CET.
Key ECB interest rates
The Governing Council decided to raise the three key ECB interest rates by 25 basis points. Accordingly, the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will be increased to 4.25%, 4.50% and 3.75% respectively, with effect from 2 August 2023.
Asset purchase programme (APP) and pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP)
The APP portfolio is declining at a measured and predictable pace, as the Eurosystem no longer reinvests the principal payments from maturing securities.
As concerns the PEPP, the Governing Council intends to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the programme until at least the end of 2024. In any case, the future roll-off of the PEPP portfolio will be managed to avoid interference with the appropriate monetary policy stance.
The Governing Council will continue applying flexibility in reinvesting redemptions coming due in the PEPP portfolio, with a view to countering risks to the monetary policy transmission mechanism related to the pandemic.
As banks are repaying the amounts borrowed under the targeted longer-term refinancing operations, the Governing Council will regularly assess how targeted lending operations and their ongoing repayment are contributing to its monetary policy stance.
The Governing Council stands ready to adjust all of its instruments within its mandate to ensure that inflation returns to its 2% target over the medium term and to preserve the smooth functioning of monetary policy transmission. Moreover, the Transmission Protection Instrument is available to counter unwarranted, disorderly market dynamics that pose a serious threat to the transmission of monetary policy across all euro area countries, thus allowing the Governing Council to more effectively deliver on its price stability mandate.
The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 14:45 CET today.