Interest rates in the euro zone will have to continue to rise to face the current risks and challenges facing its economy, such as high inflation and the new chapter in the globalization process, argues Christine Lagarde.

The president of the European Central Bank (ECB) stressed this Monday the need to maintain the cycle of tightening financial conditions that started last year in the single currency bloc, repeating some of the messages she has been trying to convey after meetings of the monetary authority .

Lagarde continues to consider inflation “too high”, especially the underlying indicator, which discards the most volatile categories, ie energy and food. It should be remembered that this sub-indicator has not dropped for six months, having reached 5.2% in December, an absolute record since the entry into force of the euro.

The path of rising interest rates was underlined and the strategy is to continue, with “interest rates having to rise significantly and at a sustained pace to reach sufficiently restrictive levels”, he reinforced, repeating the words of previous press conferences at the end of 2022.

The European economy faces challenges that exacerbate this dynamic, admits Lagarde, who still wants to see Europe “as a leader, not just a follower”. In particular, the trend towards deglobalisation, protectionism and nearshoring they are threats to a thriving global economy, which of course impacts the single currency.

Thus, the president of the ECB wants to see “Europe further develop its own sources of growth”, which “represents an opportunity” for affirmation in the medium term.


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