Annalisa Piazza (MFS) | ECB “recalibrates policy”: Nothing else has changed. Indeed, the rest of the policy announcement was a carbon copy of what we heard back in July. Forward guidance on both rates and QE was confirmed, along with the re-investment programmes. The slower pace of PEPP had been widely flagged by ECB officials over the past few weeks so the announcement was hardly a surprise. That said, the…
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.
The ECB is expected to announce a reduction, or tapering, of its asset purchasing programme at today’s council meeting. In opinion of David Kohl, chief currency strategist at Julius Baer, “financial markets are well prepared for less support from monetary policy.”
Last week, the ECB’s governing council openly disavowed its chairman by refusing to provide any hint about the potential dismantling of quantitative easing. Draghi was at pains to reconcile this rebuke with his sanguine message in Sintra pointing to a tapering decision shortly after the summer break. In the press conference following the board, he was forced to admit that for the time being inflation run far away from its medium-term goal.
Tapering will come anyway, largely because of technical/ political constraints around QE. The ECB will still have to justify this with a macroeconomic narrative. This is what the ECB President has set out to do.However, experts at BoAML believe that what he said yesterday in Sintra central bankers summit is also consistent with a very slow exit.
Most observers bet the Draghi would further extend its current asset purchase programme, shoring up confidence in the face of troubled times ahead. Some believed it might reduce the monthly volume, showing its intent to scale down little by little its massive balance sheet.