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ECB chief ready to 'moderately' increase rates

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Monday he was ready to "moderately augment" interest rates to stem inflation but did not see a series of increases ahead.
/ Source: The Associated Press

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Monday he was ready to "moderately augment" interest rates to stem inflation but did not see a series of increases ahead.

The bank will hold its next meeting on Dec. 1 in Frankfurt, Germany. If it moves its key rate, at 2 percent, it would be the first time in over two years.

"It is the best way to contribute to growth and job stability," he said of the possibility of higher rates. Trichet's comments follow economic reports suggesting the economy in the 12 countries that use the euro may be picking up and be strong enough to withstand an increase.

"I do not see, ex ante, the start of a series of increases," he told committee members at the European Parliament.

He said that even though risks had increased, there was no strong evidence that higher oil prices had set off an increase in wages.