BERN/LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – Central banks across Europe raised interest rates on Thursday, some by amounts that shocked markets, and hinted at even higher borrowing costs to come to tame soaring inflation that is eroding savings and squeezing corporate profits.
Fuelled initially by soaring oil prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflation has broadened out to everything from food to services with double digit readings in parts of the continent.
Such levels have not been seen in some places since the aftermath of the oil crisis of the 1970s.
The Swiss National Bank and the National Bank of Hungary both caught markets off guard with big upward steps, just hours after their U.S. counterpart the Federal Reserve lifted rates by the most in almost three decades. read more
The Bank of England meanwhile lifted borrowing costs by the quarter point markets had expected. read more
The moves come just a day after the European Central Bank agreed plans in an emergency meeting to contain borrowing costs in the bloc’s south so it could forge ahead with rates rises in both July and September. read more
“We are in a new era for central banks, where lowering inflation is their only objective, even at the expense of financial stability and growth,” George Lagarias, Chief Economist at Mazars Wealth Management said.