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Inflation falling but rates may rise to zero

We expect consumption to rebound from the Omicron wave within a few weeks, lifting euro-zone GDP to its pre-pandemic level in the first half of the year. But GDP will remain below its pre-pandemic path for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, more stable energy prices will cause headline inflation to come down sharply, but the lingering effects of the pandemic will prolong supply-chain problems and wage inflation is likely to rise. As a result core inflation will stay above the ECB’s 2% inflation target throughout 2022. And against that backdrop, the ECB will end its net asset purchases by December and prepare the ground to raise its deposit rate to zero by the end of 2023.

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