ECB Shouldn’t Raise Rates Further, French Finance Minister Le Maire Says

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged the European Central Bank not to raise interest rates again, joining a cohort of politicians reacting to Thursday’s hike in borrowing costs, Bloomberg News reported. “We are on the right track to reduce inflation,” Le Maire told Bloomberg Television on Friday in the western Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, where he attended a meeting with euro-area counterparts on Friday along with ECB President Christine Lagarde. “Enough is enough!” Le Maire added that the level of 4% reached on Thursday is now “very high” and the right setting to reduce inflation, in remarks that hint at limited patience for the apparent appetite of hawkish policymakers to keep raising rates if necessary. The Frenchman’s comments were more diplomatic than those of politicians in Italy and Portugal, who openly slammed the close-run decision by Lagarde and her colleagues to deliver another quarter-point move. It’s the impact on economic growth that worries politicians most. The ECB’s own forecasts show the euro zone is on the verge of a contraction, and Lagarde herself told journalists that “the difficult times are now.” Read more.