Wednesday

28th Jun 2017

Stiglitz: ECB should scrap inflation targets

The European Central Bank (ECB) should scrap its target to keep price inflation at 2 percent, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Thursday (6 March).

Speaking at an event organised by the European Parliament's Socialist group, Stiglitz said central banks should look to strike a balance between controlling inflation and supporting job creation.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The ECB should scrap its inflation target and focus on measures to stimulate jobs - Stiglitz (Photo: World Economic Forum)

"The ECB's mandate needs to be changed," he noted.

Stiglitz is a long-standing critic of inflation-targeting by central banks, believing instead that monetary policy should be used to stimulate employment.

Stiglitz's remarks came as ECB president Mario Draghi kept the bank's headline rates, including its main interest rate, at the record low of 0.25 percent, following a meeting of the bank's governing council the same day.

Draghi said the bank decided to leave the rate unchanged because of continued signs the eurozone economy is slowly recovering.

"We saw our baseline by and large confirmed. There is a continuation of a modest recovery," he told reporters in Frankfurt.

Draghi has consistently rejected suggestions that Europe's low inflation and stagnant economy could see a repeat of Japan's economic experience, which saw companies and households hold off on spending on expectations of lower prices ahead, leading to two decades of economic stagnation.

New forecasts published by ECB staff estimate that inflation will stay at 1.0 percent this year, 1.3 percent in 2015, and 1.5 percent in 2016 - comfortably below its 2 percent target all the way through the projection.

Last month, the bloc's economic affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, warned that low inflation is making price cuts in the peripheral economies less effective at boosting their competitiveness, making it harder to geographically rebalance the economy.

However, the ECB's main mandate under the EU treaty is tightly restricted to the maintenance of 'price stability' across the eurozone at a rate of around 2 percent per year.

Euro area sees record low inflation

One year after oil and food price crisis, the euro area has showed the opposite record of extra low inflation due to the overall economic downturn.

German bank breaks anti-inflation taboo

In a marked shift from its age-old taboo of accepting higher inflation, the German Bundesbank has said it may tolerate a devaluation of the common currency to help out crisis-hit countries.

Record high inflation sparks debate about interest rates

Consumer prices in the eurozone countries climbed to four percent in June, reaching twice the rate of the European Central Bank's inflation goal. The surge has instantly sparked off a debate about whether the Frankfurt-based bank should increase interest rates.

ECB considers printing more money

The European Central Bank over the next months will consider various options of 'quantitative easing' - also known as money printing - to counter the risk of deflation.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Taking back control at home, not from EU

A year after British voters chose to leave the EU, "taking back control" from the bloc is firmly on the back-burner, as May government’s main ambition is its immediate survival.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEGet the Latest News from the 2017 Estonian EU Council Presidency @EU2017EE
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  3. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  4. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  6. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  7. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  8. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  9. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  10. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  11. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  12. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!