Era of ultra low inflation unlikely to return: ECB's Lagarde

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President of European Central Bank Christine Lagarde addresses a news conference following the meeting of the Governing Council's monetary in Frankfurt, Germany March 10, 2022. Daniel Roland/Pool via REUTERS

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SINTRA, Portugal, June 29 (Reuters) - The era of ultra low inflation that preceded the pandemic is unlikely to return and central banks need to adjust to significantly higher price growth expectations, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday.

Price growth, already over 8% across the 19-country euro area, is expected to climb further until early autumn, economists say, before a slow drop that could see the headline rate stay above the ECB's 2% target through 2024.

The ECB promised a 25 basis point interest rate hike in July, its first increase in over a decade, to be followed by a potentially larger move in September as it combats painfully high inflation.

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Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Catherine Evans

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