VIENNA | By Keith Weiner via Truman Factor | The European Central Bank again cut the interest rates it controls. Notably, the deposit rate was moved deeper into negative territory. It is now -0.2% (minus 20 basis points, that is not a typo). The ECB says it’s trying to nudge prices higher, but it’s actually feeding the cancer of falling interest. The linked article above, like most, is focused on the quantity of euros and the presumed direct relationship to price. The following bit of editorializing from that article is uncontroversial in Frankfurt, London, New York, Mumbai, or Shanghai.
LONDON | The Corner | According to experts at Barclays, the significant depreciation of EUR/USD (Fig 1) has been a key data event in the past few months. However, the sharp fall in oil prices has partially offset this positive effect on inflation, which has remained at 0.4% y/y in August. The inflation data remain crucial for the ECB, which has repeatedly emphasised that there is unanimous commitment to use all available tools to prevent a period of prolonged low inflation. We now expect QE on sovereign bonds, most likely by Q1 15.
MADRID | J.P. Marín Arrese | Eurozone policy makers depict sluggish growth and low inflation as two sides of the same coin. This approach fails to grasp the subtle distinction between the two. Muted inflation undoubtedly stems from faltering demand linked to current stagnation. Yet it also reflects the ongoing real adjustment. Reviling it as the main wrongdoer, rather than treating it as a collateral victim, utterly misses the point in enforcing effective policy.
MADRID | The Corner | The expectation that the ECB will finally announce a QE program after Draghi’s words at Jackson Hole and the confirmation that the ECB would have hired Blackrock for advice on launching a ABS program continue to nurture the Eurozone bond rally and thereby the credit one. Yesterday many bond markets in Europe returned to record lows with improvements in 10 years of 3bp (Germany), 2.5bp (Spain) and 2bp (Italy).
MADRID | The Corner | Although it is not part of ECB’s mandate, last Friday in Jackson Hole, President Mario Draghi spoke about what needs to be done in the euro area to address the problem of high unemployment and weak economic growth. As Barclays analysts believe, the speech “represented a significant breakthrough in the ECB rhetoric and will probably have significant implications regarding the debate just about to start between European government on policies that need to be deployed to avoid a ‘triple-dip recession’ and a fall in outright deflation.”
MADRID | The Corner | The fall in inflation in July to 0,4% YoY and a still high unemployment rate of 11.5% in the Eurozone show that the policy measures the ECB announced in June are going to take some time to reach the real economy.
LONDON | By Antonio Garcia via Barclays | Stronger-than-expected July PMIs suggest that the growth outlook is likely to improve in Q3 and are consistent with our forecast of 0.4% q/q. EA public debt levels have reached a new peak in Q2 14 at 96.4% of GDP, with three of the four largest EA economies above the EA average. We now expect July HICP inflation (next week) to edge down to 0.4% y/y and August inflation to decline further, to 0.3% y/y.
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | …while in others it cannot promote it! Japan falls in the latter category. According to this article in the WSJ “Japan´s price target looks difficult.” The nationwide core consumer price index rose 1.3% from a year earlier in June, after adjustment for a recent sales-tax hike, below a 1.4% increase the previous month, according to government data released Friday. Inflation moderated in May and June due to falling energy prices and a stable yen, which has put the break on growth in import costs.
MADRID | The Corner | Will the Japanese Central Bank act again to raise inflation expectations and get inflation to reach its target of 2%? Some analysts believe the BoJ should allow the economy to overheat a little in order to promote higher inflation expectations. “Kuroda is convinced that the country will reach its inflation target of 2% in the FY2015,” experts at JP Morgan pointed out on Thursday, “but the help of the yen’s depreciation is fading since expectations of further monetary expansion are lowering too.”
MADRID | By The Corner | Experts at JPMorgan are less worried about near-term disturbances and flows and more about the medium-term outlook for economic growth. Over the past three years, the world economy has grown only at a 2.5% pace, below potential and thus not able to make up for what we lost in the recession. Each year, they keep forecasting that growth will rise to a 3% handle, but have been steadily disappointed.