European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said that 2022 will demonstrate that the current period of high inflation is just temporary.
"The reality check will be the evolution of inflation next year," Guindos said. "If inflation begins to fall, central banks' views will be reassured and reaffirmed. When you look at the causes, the transitory nature of these inflationary forces is quite clear, and they will become tangible and evident next year."
Higher energy costs, supply-chain disruptions, and other pandemic-related effects are driving euro-area inflation to its highest level since 2008. While many economists believe it will return below target in 2023, rising prices are raising concern in some corners of the region. Officials warn there's a chance price growth will be stronger than expected.
"The decline and intensity of the slowdown in inflation will not be as strong and swift as we expected only a few months ago," Guindos admitted. The ECB must be "extremely attentive" to wage negotiations, he said, to ensure that significant wage rises do not make rising inflation permanent.
The ECB is preparing to make a decision on the future of its stimulus measures in December, just over three months before the end of a 1.85 trillion euro ($2.1 trillion) pandemic asset-purchase programme.
Investors have begun to position for an interest-rate hike in 2022 as inflation readings surpass projections, expectations that the central bank has sought to dampen.
"My own opinion is that there will be no rate hike in 2022," Guindos stated. "We're reliant on data. We'll see what happens in the coming months with the economy and inflation, but my own view is that it's unlikely."