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ECB plans 25-point rate hike in July, ending ultra-loose policy

European Central Bank also to end bond purchases as inflation picks up

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. The ECB plans to hike interest rates for the first time in 11 years.    © Reuters

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) -- The European Central Bank ended a long-running stimulus scheme on Thursday and signaled a series of rate hikes that may be scaled up from September if the inflation outlook fails to improve.

With inflation at a record-high 8.1% and still rising, the ECB now fears that price growth is broadening out and could morph into a hard-to-break wage-price spiral, ending a decade of anemic price growth and heralding a new era of higher prices.

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