As expected by markets, the ECB announced that it will continue buying bonds in 2018, albeit at a reduced pace of monthly €30bn for another nine months until September 2018.
ECB’s monetary policy
Once again Mario Draghi followed the expected script: it kept interest rates at 0%, where they have been for the last year; it left the deposit facility unchanged at -0.4% and did not modify the debt purchasing programme.
Eurozone inflation increased above the European Central Bank’s target for the first time in four years, Eurostat’s figures showed on Thursday. Inflation accelerated to 2 % in February from 1.8 % in January. A similar higher rate was last seen in January 2013. Markets expected prices to rise 1.9 %.
As the Brexit initial turmoil little by little abates, the ECB has no immediate reason for acting. Its room for manoeuvre already seems extremely tight. Running negative rates allows a most limited scope for driving down the money price. The Euro slide provides on its own enough impetus to the economy. The case for further loosening lacks of enough ground. The wait-and-see stance by the Federal Reserve suffices to shore up the ailing pound.
Fernando Fernández is a member of the board at Bankia and Red Eléctrica. Apart from the challenges presented by the macroeconomic environment and the technology revolution, he believes that Spain’s banks have to establish a new kind of relationship with their clients and consolidate the sector’s new size.
BARCLAYS | The minority conservative government led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho was ousted present week after the parliament rejected his government’s programme by a vote of 123 to 107. Political uncertainty is likely to continue to weigh on Portugal’s funding costs, despite the very accommodative monetary policy of the ECB.
Are we putting the responsilibity of exiting the crisis on central banks’ shoulders? Is ECB’s president Mario Draghi doing traders a favour by playing down the ECB’s responsibility for contributing to volatility? Professor of Financial Mathematics at Bocconi’s University Marcello Minenna answers to these questions from Milan and argues that a low interest rate environment is here to stay.
Despite the political challenges emerging in Greece, the economic recovery in the eurozone has begun to strengthen driven by domestic consumption.
MADRID | June 3, 2015 | So far, monetary policy stimulus is working as planned, ECB’s president Mario Draghi insisted on Wednesday, and the bond buying program needs to reach full implementation until September 2016. The central lender rules out any earlier taper and will keep rates on hold.
MADRID | April 26, 2015 | By Luis Arroyo | After effusively congratulating the progress of the Spanish economy in his last press conference, Draghi said that some labor reforms are missing. Let’s connect the dots: the ECB’s president is attributing himself the merit of recovery with his expansionary monetary policy, while the demerit that this is not stronger is attributed to Madrid, which is not undertaking enough reforms.