BUSINESS + ECONOMY

European Central Bank hikes rates to highest level since 2000

Jul 27, 2023, 6:41 AM | Updated: 6:50 am

FILE - The European Central Bank is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP ...

FILE - The European Central Bank is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File, ASSOCIATED PRESS

London (CNN) — The European Central Bank (ECB) raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point Thursday, judging that inflation remains too high even as data points to a deepening economic downturn in the 20 countries that use the euro.

The move takes the benchmark rate in the euro area to 3.75%, the highest since October 2000.

“Inflation continues to decline but is still expected to remain too high for too long,” the ECB said in a statement.

“The past rate increases continue to be transmitted forcefully: financing conditions have tightened again and are increasingly dampening demand, which is an important factor in bringing inflation back to target,” it added. The central bank targets a headline inflation rate of 2%.

— This is a developing story and will be updated.

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European Central Bank hikes rates to highest level since 2000