European Central Bank sets new inflation target at 2%

The ECB said its target would be symmetric

European Commission in Brussels

The European Central Bank set a new inflation target on Thursday after an 18-month strategy review, hoping to bolster its credibility after undershooting its current objective for nearly a decade.

In a widely expected decision, foreshadowed by policymakers, the ECB set its inflation target at 2% in the medium term, ditching a previous formulation for “below but close to 2%,” which created an impression the euro zone’s central bank worried more about price growth above its target than below it.

“The Governing Council’s commitment to this target is symmetric,” the ECB said. “Symmetry means that the Governing Council considers negative and positive deviations from this target as equally undesirable.”

The first strategy review since 2003 was among ECB President Christine Lagarde’s top priorities and the project was launched immediately after she took over leading the bank from Mario Draghi in late 2019.

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