Eurozone interest rates at all-time high

Eurozone interest rates have been hiked to a record high by the European Central Bank (ECB).


The bank raised its key rate for the 10th time in a row, to 4% from 3.75%, as it warned inflation was “expected to remain too high for too long”.


The latest increase came after forecasts predicted inflation, which is the rate prices rise at, would be 5.6% on average in 2023.


But the ECB signalled that Thursday’s hike could be the last for now.


“The governing council considers that the key ECB interest rates have reached levels that, maintained for a sufficiently long duration, will make a substantial contribution to the timely return of inflation to the target,” the bank said.


It added that it expected inflation in the 20-nation bloc to fall to around 2.9% next year and 2.2% in 2025.


As in other parts of the world, the eurozone has been hit by rising food and energy prices that have squeezed household budgets.


Central banks have been increasing interest rates in an attempt to slow rising prices.


Interest rates in the UK are currently higher than in the eurozone at 5.25%, but UK inflation is also higher at 6.8%, and the Bank of England is expected to raise rates again next week.


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