The European Central Bank does not foresee inflation in the Eurozone above the 2% target in the medium term, despite the new negative economic effects that the coronavirus pandemic could bring, ECB chief economist Philip Lane told the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore in an interview published on Tuesday.

Inflation in the entire euro-sharing bloc rose to 5% year on year in December, marking another record peak in the Eurozone and well above analysts ‘and economists’ expectations of 4.7 percent.

Philip Lane reiterated that the ECB expects inflation to fall this year and stabilize below the 2 percent target in 2023 and 2024.

“We do not see any behavior that suggests that inflation will remain above our 2% target in the medium term,” Lane told the Italian newspaper. “We knew that at the end of 2021 we would have a concentration of price pressures, especially given the large increase in energy prices. But the forecast remains unchanged,” he added.

The ECB member also touched on the issue of interest rates, saying that the criteria for raising them “do not exist”.

“Over the year, we will have more data and continue to assess the situation. But the ECB is further away from raising interest rates than some other central banks,” he said.