The ECB has increased its key deposit rate – or how much interest it pays on deposits – to 0.75% from 0% and lifted its key refinancing rate – or how much banks have to pay when they borrow from the ECB – to 1.25% from 0.5%.
“Price pressures have continued to strengthen and broaden across the economy,” said the ECB.
“I cannot reduce the price of energy,” said the president of ECB Christine Lagarde.
“I cannot convince the big players of this world to reduce gas prices. I cannot reform the electricity market. And I am very pleased to see that the European Commission is considering steps to that effect because monetary policy is not going to reduce the price of energy,” she continued.
Lagarde added that if gas prices continue to “skyrocket”, a recession would be on the horizon. If Russia were to fully cut gas supplies to the European Union and it becomes impossible to secure alternative gas supplies from the US, Asia or Norway, the ECB expects gas rationing across the Euro area and a recession in 2023.