ECB will be ‘courageous’ to fight off inflation, Lagarde says

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MADRID, May 19 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will not flinch from taking the decisions needed to bring inflation down to its mid-term goal of 2%, the bank’s president Christine Lagarde said on Friday, hinting at further monetary policy tightening.

The ECB slowed the pace of its interest rate increases earlier this month with a 25-basis-point hike but signalled more tightening was coming.

“We are heading towards more delicate decisions going forward but we will be courageous and we will take the decisions that are needed to bring inflation back to 2%,” Lagarde told Spanish state television TVE as part of an interview expected to be aired in full later.

Euro zone inflation accelerated last month to 7.0% from 6.9% in March, confirming preliminary data pointing to increasingly stubborn price growth among the 20 nations sharing the euro.

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