ECB’s Lagarde: confident over 2% inflation target and Europe’s winter gas situation

PARIS (Reuters) -European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in an interview published on Sunday that she was confident the ECB would meet its target of getting inflation back down to 2%, and relatively confident over Europe’s gas reserves situation.

Last month, the ECB raised its key interest rate to a record high of 4%.

“The key ECB interest rates have reached levels that, maintained for a sufficiently long duration, will make a substantial contribution to the timely return of inflation to the target,” Lagarde said in an interview published on Sunday in French paper La Tribune Dimanche. The ECB’s website clarified that the interview was conducted on Oct. 2.

Lagarde added the fact that inflation was “currently falling significantly” was one of several reason as to why she was not pessimistic regarding the short-term economic outlook.

She added that other reasons for this were economic reforms underway in Europe, and because Europe’s gas reserves situation was better than before.

“Structural reforms are being put in place. And, just one year ago, who would have thought that we would succeed in replenishing more than 90% of our gas reserves by September 2023?,” said Lagarde.

“This allows us to look towards the coming winter, if not calmly, then at least with a lot more confidence,” she added.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Toby Chopra)