Next Thursday, the 25 members of the European Central Bank’s governing council will come together at the bank’s head office in Frankfurt. The group meets once every six weeks to set interest rates and tinker with monetary policy for the 19-nation euro currency bloc.
As ever, one topic will be at the top of the agenda: Inflation.
Only this time, for the first time in four years, the central bank has actually surpassed its own goal: According to initial estimates, consumer prices rose by 2 percent year-over-year in the euro zone in February, as reported by Eurostat, the statistics office for the European Union, on Thursday. It’s the biggest annual inflation since January 2013, and above the ECB’s self-proclaimed target of keeping price increases at “close to but below” 2 percent.
This significant price hike is once again fueling a debate about the ECB’s monetary policy – above all in Germany.