Speaking in Frankfurt Thursday, President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet announced that the ECB is hiking benchmark rates by 25 basis points to 1.5 percent.
The decision marks the second time in three months that the bank has raised rates, and analysts are speculating that they will do so again before the year is over.
Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, the Governing Council decided to increase the key ECB interest rates by 25 basis points, after raising rates by 25 basis points in April 2011 from historically low levels, Trichet said at the conference. The further adjustment of the current accommodative monetary policy stance is warranted in the light of upside risks to price stability.
The change will take place on July 13, 2011.
The European Central Bank also decided that the marginal lending rate will be increased by 25 basis points to 2.25 percent, with effect from 13 July 2011, and that the interest rate on the deposit facility will be increased by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent.
ECB cited the current economic enviorment, which Trichet said is very demanding and requires decisive action, as one reason for the new policy measures. The central bank also insisted that comprehensive structural reforms be made to Eurozone economies in order to promote competitiveness and long-term growth.
See the full text of Trichet's opening statement here and keep close to IBTimes for news and updates from the press conference.