After more than six years of a zero interest rate policy, the key interest rate in the euro zone could rise again for the first time in the summer. The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to end its bond purchases at the beginning of the third quarter and raise the key interest rate “some time later”, said ECB President Christine Lagarde on Wednesday in a speech in Slovenia. The ECB lowered interest rates to zero in March 2016.
“We haven’t yet defined exactly what ‘some time after’ means,” said Lagarde. “But I said very clearly that it could be a period of just a few weeks.” The Governing Council of the ECB will next discuss future monetary policy on June 9, with the subsequent meeting taking place on July 21.