ECB chief economist Peter Praet. AFP

The European Central Bank was acting schizophrenic again over the weekend, as policy makers continue to send mixed signals.

“Underlying inflationary pressure remains subdued” and “we still need a long period of accommodative policy,” Executive Board member and ECB chief economist Peter Praet was quoted as saying over the weekend. “Inflation is picking up, but that is a process that is a long way from completion,” he added. “From an inflation perspective, we cannot be satisfied yet.”

The comments came after Governing Council member Klaas Knot warned on Dutch television the night before that “if we carry on with this policy for too long, that is absolutely a potential danger. The difficulty is that one cannot determine objectively when the moment is when we have continued with this policy for too long. I think that we have gotten very close to that moment.”