ECB is data-driven, Sept decision too far off to call – Lane

MADRID (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is likely to raise interest rates again next month but it is too early to predict the decision of the September meeting, which will be shaped by incoming data, the ECB’s chief economist Philip Lane said on Monday.

The ECB raised euro zone borrowing costs to their highest level in 22 years on Thursday and said stubbornly high inflation all but guaranteed another move next month.

Lane put the emphasis on incoming data as the main driver of future decisions.

“At this point, we are surely data-driven,” he said. “July is not so far away, we can say unless there’s a material change another hike (is likely).”

“But to me September is so far away; let’s see in September,” Lane added.

ECB policymakers have lined up behind plans to raise interest rates again next month, but views diverge on policy further down the road as underlying inflation remains stubbornly high even as the economy is barely growing.

(Reporting By Jesus Aguado, Emma Pinedo and Belen Carreno; Writing by Francesco Canepa in Frankfurt; Editing by Jon Boyle and Gareth Jones)