Eurozone consumers fear stagflation in new ECB survey

Eurozone consumers fear stagflation in new ECB survey

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 17, 2022. — Reuters pic

Thursday, 04 Aug 2022 6:07 PM MYT

FRANKFURT, Aug 4 — Consumers in the eurozone expect inflation to stay high and the economic growth to go into reverse over the next year, according to a new survey published by the European Central Bank today.

The first issuance of the ECB’s Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) for June showed widespread concern for the economic outlook, as Europe navigates the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The monthly survey, which was carried out online among 14,000 people from the eurozone’s six largest economies, would help the ECB pursue its price stability mandate by “improving the analytical basis” for its decision-making, the central bank said in a statement.

It would also improve the ECB’s picture of households’ “financial vulnerabilities” and any “challenges to financial stability”.

At the end of July, the ECB raised its interest rates for the first time in over a decade as it looked to tackle record inflation driven by the soaring cost of energy.

Consumer prices rose at an 8.6-per cent pace in the eurozone in July, an all-time high and well above the ECB’s own two-per cent target.

Consumers surveyed by the ECB on average expected inflation to sit at five per cent in 12 months and 2.8 per cent in three years.

They also expected the economy to shrink by 1.3 per cent over the next year.

The toxic combination of high inflation and weak economic performance is known as “stagflation”.

In its last set of forecasts published in June, the ECB said it still expected the eurozone to grow by 2.8 per cent this year and 2.1 per cent in 2023.

Meanwhile, inflation was forecast to sit at 6.8 per cent before falling back to 3.5 per cent in 2023. — AFP