There was very little of the usual nuance and ambiguity that normally fills the room in Frankfurt, where the European Central Bank holds its regular press conference following its Governing Council meetings.

The message was clear: interest rates are going up and will continue to go up for some time to come.

It's not a message those on tracker mortgages, in particular, will want to hear.

Estimates vary according to the size of your mortgage and how many years you have left to pay. But, for every 1% increase in interest rates, the Central Bank estimates the average tracker or variable mortgage account holder will see their monthly repayments increase by €142.

Just over 400,000 account holders will be affected.

Eventually, new fixed rates will rise although banks have been slow thus far to increase those rates.

It's inevitable too that rates for businesses will also increase.

The cost of money is going up.

The simplest way to look at this is to remember that currently inflation is running at just over 9% across the euro area. The ECB thinks it's going to stay around that level at least for the rest of this year.

The ECB is obliged to bring inflation down to around 2% over the medium term, which is normally understood to mean over a two-year horizon.

ECB PresidentChristine Lagarde said monetary policy would not bring down the price of energy

ECB President Christine Lagarde said we are "far away from the rate" that will bring inflation back down to 2%.

You may hear this being described as the 'neutral rate' or the 'terminal rate', but essentially we're talking about the rate that might prevail when everything is cosy on the inflation front.

And we're very, very far away from being cosy on inflation.

This is backed up by the work carried out by the economists working at the bank, headed by Irishman and former Governor of the Central Bank, Philip Lane.

The ECB's latest updated forecasts have increased its outlook for inflation this year to an average 8.1%, 5.5% next year and 2.3% in 2024. In other words, inflation will still be above its target rate in two years' time.

When it comes to economic growth, measured by GDP, in the euro area, the picture is equally unsettling.

So-called 'core inflation', which is the price of other goods and services, is going up by 4% per annum

There's actually a forecast upturn compared to June’s forecast to 3.1% growth this year, based on people spending more on services like tourism when Covid-19 restrictions were broadly lifted this summer.

But growth has been slashed in half for next year and there's "a really dark downside" in the words of Christine Lagarde under an adverse scenario, some of which has already been fulfilled when the euro area will slide into recession next year with GDP shrinking by 0.9%.

But isn't this all about energy and Russia turning off the gas?

Well, a good chunk of it is (approximately 38% of the inflation problem, according to Eurostat). But there's another chunk of inflation which is, good old- fashioned inflation whether or not it can be traced back to pricing decisions prompted by increases in energy prices.

When stripped of food prices and energy prices, so-called 'core inflation', which is the price of other goods and services, is going up by 4% per annum, twice the ECB’s target rate.

When considering whether interest rate rises can solve euro area inflation woes, Christine Lagarde was up-front in saying that "monetary policy is not going to bring down the price of energy". But it would "contribute" to bringing down inflation.

It's for others, she said, to sort out where Europe would source its energy. The ECB would "do its job".

And the ECB's job is to bring inflation back down to 2%. In order to do so, it's going to increase interest rates until it gets there, and it's acknowledged the distinct probability that a recession will happen along the way.

Governments have been very lucky through Covid and before that during the sovereign debt crisis to rely on a monetary policy that eased their pain.

But restricting a continent's energy supply during a full-scale war is beyond the ability of monetary policy to solve.