According to Governing Council member Gediminas Simkus, the European Central Bank does not need to fundamentally revise its assessment of the inflation forecast or accelerate policy tightening.
The Eurozone's monetary policy cannot be compared to that of the US or other jurisdictions "because the economic situation is different," the chief of the Lithuanian central bank said. This means that an increase in interest rates is not on the ECB's agenda, even as the Federal Reserve prepares for a hike in March.
"There is uncertainty, and I agree it has grown," Simkus said on Tuesday. "But I don't have any evidence that the projections have shifted so dramatically that we should start debating whether the inflation outlook has shifted far beyond our 2% target."
The central bank is under increasing pressure after Eurozone inflation hit a new high of 5% last month. Nonetheless, Simkus stated that recent events are "more or less in line with our expectations," even though risks are "to the upside."
The ECB's policy path, which was last updated in December and predicts a slowdown in asset purchases through 2022, does not need to change "yet," he said.
"If the question is what if the information changes and if the ECB is ready to act in response to the new economic situation, then my reply would be yes" he added.
According to Simkus, accurately predicting the economic outlook is becoming increasingly challenging. He called geopolitical tensions along Ukraine's borders "an even bigger uncertainty" than the coronavirus's Omicron variant.
He also stated that the ECB should end its asset-purchase programmes "shortly" before raising interest rates.
"I think it's crucial to retain that sequence from a credibility standpoint," he said. "However, I would avoid putting a number of days, weeks, or months on that time frame."