The always interesting Paul de Grauwe has a piece in the FT today (subscription only unfortunately, but he does collect all his FT pieces on his website here, so it will doubtless appear eventually). Basically he is arguing a view which I agree with: in its enthusiasm for raising interest rates the ECB is overdoing the inflation problem, and not by a little:
Strange things are happening in Frankfurt these days. Barely two weeks ago the European Central Bank issued its monthly bulletin containing an analysis of the perspectives for inflation in the euro area. In a nutshell the story was the following.
Yes, yearly inflation has increased to 2.5 per cent (October 2005) and this is a source of concern for a central bank that has promised to keep inflation below 2 per cent. But, as we all know, a central bank that targets the rate of inflation should be forward-looking and base its interest rate decisions on the expected future rate of inflation. The remarkable thing about the analysis is that, after voicing its concern about current inflation exceeding 2 per cent, it came to the conclusion that the perspectives for future inflation were favourable.
Paul de Grauwe’s work is generally highly commendable, and this presentation of his on the pluses and minuses of the euro is a really good background primer.