In July 2022, by the time the European Central Bank (ECB) lifted its deposit rate from negative to zero, headline inflation in the euro area had reached 8.9%. Irrespective of the drivers of inflation – a temporary supply shock or lasting demand shock – it is shocking that a central bank with a price stability mandate keeps its main interest rate negative while inflation accelerates that much.
Something clearly went wrong. With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to say that the ECB made mistakes. But should the ECB have acted differently, given the information available at the time of its monetary policy meetings?
In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel Director Jeromin Zettelmeyer and Senior fellow Zsolt Darvas sit down to discuss the ECB’s six lapses in tackling inflation, uncertainties surrounding the euro area's economy and what could have been done differently.