Global central banks say united on inflation fight

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) - Central banks worldwide are unified in seeking to anchor expectations for future inflation, but that does not mean they will all go about it in the same way, policymakers said Monday.

Jean-Claude Trichet, speaking as chair of talks at a Bank for International Settlements meeting, said price pressures had been heightened by the latest spike in oil prices and that the global economy was set for relatively robust growth.

"Growth is very rapid (in emerging economies) and (overheating) is a threat. The threat of inflation is particularly visible in emerging economies," Trichet said.

"We're in an environment where we have spike in price of oil, commodities - it's more acute in the present circumstances."

A warning by European Central Bank President Trichet last week that it could raise euro zone interest rates next month have highlighted a division over policy that sees the U.S. Federal Reserve expected to continue to take a looser stance.

"There is unity of purpose and that this is crystallizing in the goal of solidly anchoring inflation expectations," Trichet said after the BIS meeting.

"We are all devoted to continue anchoring solidly inflation expectations, that doesn't mean we take the same decisions."

Global food prices measured by the United Nations hit a record high in February, driven by rising grain costs and tighter supply. U.S. crude oil prices hit fresh 2-1/2 year highs Monday as deepening unrest in Libya heightened worries about supply disruption.

Inflation concerns are pushing world stocks away from their 30-month highs set last month while they sent the euro to a four-month peak above $1.40 as expectations rose for interest rate rises.

(Reporting by Natsuko Waki, Catherine Bosley and Sakari Suoninen; editing by Patrick Graham)