According to its own study, the European Central Bank, which has been steering towards low interest rates for years, has certain acceptance problems in households with low incomes.

Accordingly, trust in the ECB, in the respective national central bank and the EU Commission is lowest where people have an annual income of less than 20,000 euros.

As the specialist article published on Wednesday shows, the confidence of this income group is suffering, particularly in the euro zone countries, where there is a larger social gap between rich and poor.

The authors of the ECB article base their information on data from six euro zone countries: According to this, more than 75 percent of respondents in Belgium, Spain and Italy describe the gap between rich and poor in their countries as too large.

In Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands, this feeling is far more pronounced in the lower income brackets than among the wealthy.

At the same time, in Germany and France, trust in the ECB is weaker among those who perceive a strong social divide in their country – regardless of their employment status or level of education.

The authors recommend that the ECB should further explain how it contributes to economic stability by pursuing its mandate of ensuring price stability as set out in the EU Treaties and how this affects social inequalities.

In its discussion events with EU citizens, the ECB found that some expect central banks to use monetary policy to combat social inequality.

However, the authors of the study point out that, in their perception, citizens equate the ECB with other EU institutions and see the tasks equally anchored in the overall structure of the European Union.

Expectations that should be directed at governments therefore also apply to the ECB, although it is not responsible for this based on its mandate.

In Germany, the 7.3 percent inflation rate, which has been the highest since the end of 1981, is dampening consumer spending.

The further rise in energy prices as a result of the Ukraine war and supply bottlenecks are causing high inflation, which is eroding the purchasing power of consumers - especially in the lower income brackets.

At the same time, the prices for German residential real estate have risen massively in times of low interest rates.

The Bundesbank has been warning of increasing dangers on the German real estate market for a long time.