From today's perspective, the monetary policy spring promises dense fog.
As expected, the European Central Bank increased its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points on Thursday and made the prospect of a further key interest rate hike of 0.5 percentage points for March so clear that it will hardly be able to distance itself from this announcement in the coming weeks.
This is an appropriate response to inflation, which is still far too high, although it is likely to fall somewhat in the coming months.
There is still a long way to go before the target of 2 percent.
It is therefore not surprising that ECB President Christine Lagarde stated that interest rates would have to continue to rise after March.
Lagarde could have left it at this announcement, because today nobody can know exactly how the prospects in the spring can be optimally translated into monetary policy decisions.
Unfortunately, the President tried to explain the ECB's motives, which, however, was not easy to interpret even for very experienced monetary policy observers in the financial scene.
The interpretation that dominated the financial markets was that the ECB would raise its key interest rate again slightly in the spring and then enter an interest rate pause, which caused bond and share prices to rise and the euro to depreciate on the foreign exchange market.
It is difficult to say whether the ECB wanted to send this message.
The interest rate outlook beyond March is foggy.
The market reaction can serve as a lesson in the consequences of a central bank's reputational deterioration.
The ECB has rightly pursued a policy that is more anti-inflationary in recent months, but the past few months have not changed the widespread fundamental doubt that such a policy will be supported by a majority of the central bank council in the long term.
If the perception is that the ECB is beginning to waver in its fight against inflation at the first opportunity, then fighting inflation becomes more costly than it needs to be.