By Francesco Canepa and Balazs Koranyi

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – There is reluctance among European Central Bank policymakers to follow the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move to target an average inflation rate, fearing this could tie their hands, sources involved in a revamp of ECB policy told Reuters.

The four central bank sources, including members of both the hawkish and dovish wings of the ECB’s policymaking governing council, also expressed doubts about whether orthodox inflation theory still applied in economies where prices have long stagnated despite interest rates close to or below zero.

After missing its goal of keeping inflation “below but close to 2%” for a decade, the ECB is reviewing its strategy in the wake of a similar review by the Fed and just as a pandemic-induced recession is pushing euro zone inflation into negative territory.

The euro zone’s central bank has been expected to follow the Fed, which said in August it would aim for 2% average inflation over an unspecified period, so that periods when prices grow too slowly need to be compensated by times of faster increases – and vice versa.

But the policymakers who spoke to Reuters feared that going down this route risked encouraging financial markets to jump to the wrong conclusions about future policy decisions based simply on where the average happened to be at a given point in time.

Instead, they wanted to retain the flexibility to judge each situation on its own merits, for instance by playing down the significance of temporary changes in inflation due to swings in the price of oil.

“We want flexibility so an average target would not really give us a benefit,” one of the sources said.

An ECB spokesman declined to comment.

With euro zone inflation averaging 1.3% over the past decade and currently negative, they

In an interesting tie-up to tackle online financial frauds, the Walmart-owned Flipkart and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, India’s leading private general insurer, have come together to offer ‘Digital Suraksha Group Insurance’. 

It gives cover against financial losses caused by cyber-attacks or online frauds during any transaction. The policy can be availed while buying certain models of mobiles, laptops, tablets, and audio devices on Flipkart.

The insurance scheme compensates for direct financial loss (up to the sum insured) due to unauthorized digital financial transactions as a result of identity theft arising out of cyber-attacks, phishing/spoofing, and SIM-jacking.  Customers can opt for a one-year cover at premiums as low as Rs. 183 for a cover of Rs. 50,000.

Cyber frauds on the rise

Tapan Singhel, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said, “Cyber-attacks pose a serious threat wherein your money, reputation, and

personal data is at stake. With this Digital Suraksha Group Insurance introduced on Flipkart’s platform, at less than 50 paise per day, you can protect yourself against the financial risk of getting defrauded online.” Commenting on the new offering, Ranjith Boyanapalli, Head – Fintech and Payments Group, Flipkart, said, “As the festive season nears, we want to ensure that the customers’ online shopping experience, across any digital medium, is devoid of stress and apprehensions.”

A recent survey conducted by NortonLifeLock stated that about 80% of respondents reported being a victim of cybercrime at some point in their lives. Now, with customers spending more time online they are more vulnerable than before to cyber-attacks, especially the ones which are directed at individuals.

Features of this insurance scheme

Customers can get a cover of Rs. 50,000 (for a premium of Rs. 183), Rs.1,00,000 (for a premium of Rs. 312) and Rs.2,00,000 (for a premium of Rs. 561), for a 12-months