Europeans confused about ECB’s role, survey finds

FRANKFURT – Europeans have little understanding about the European Central Bank’s job, according to data published in the central bank’s economic bulletin Wednesday.

“Confusion about the ECB’s tasks seems to be widespread,” said the article, which is partly based on an ECB survey conducted in May. The poll showed respondents often selected topics that are beyond the ECB’s mandate when they were asked about the central bank’s tasks and objectives.

While the central bank is legally prohibited from financing government spending, for example, a whopping 39 percent said this is the ECB’s job. And more people thought it’s the ECB’s task “to help euro area countries in financial difficulties” or “to stabilize the foreign exchange rate of the euro” than those who said the ECB’s job is to “keep inflation at bay.” 

Still, 64 percent said that ensuring price stability is the ECB’s task, correctly identifying the central bank’s mandate.

They survey also showed that while that 87 percent of respondents have heard of the ECB, 55 percent said they aren’t interested in the ECB and its policies. Correspondingly, respondents’ self-assessment of their knowledge about the ECB’s tasks and objectives was low. On a scale of 1 to 10, respondents on average rated their own knowledge at 4.1. Only 3 percent rated it as very good (9-10), while 31 percent said it’s very bad (1-2).



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