Monex Europe | Today’s announcement by the European Central Bank can be perceived as net dovish in the short-term by markets, as the shift from an asymmetric target to a new symmetric 2% inflation target gives the central bank ample room to run accommodative monetary policy for longer without having to fight markets. Previously, the ECB’s inflation target was set at “below, but close to 2%”, which contributed to the eurozone’s structural issues with low inflation for years. By changing this target to a symmetric target, which means any undershoots and overshoots would be equally undesirable, the central bank moves the bar slightly upwards for inflation before policy is required to tighten.
Yesterday, Eurostat published the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June, which rose 0.3% year-on-year. This is a rebound in inflation in the region from the 0.1% rate recorded in May. The figures were in line with analysts’ expectations. However, even with the effect of the German VAT cut, European inflation should become negative again in July.
J.L. M.Campuzano (Spanish Banking Association) | The European Central Bank (ECB) published on Thursday the statistics for monetary aggregates in January. In January specifically, the growth rate accelerated to 5.2% per year. This increase in the M3 money supply continues to exceed the theoretical level compatible with medium and long-term inflation of 2%. The main contribution was from credit to the private sector, with an increase of 3.4% over last year.
With a monetary policy that has already used up almost all of its ammunition, the only factor that could restart the inflation would be a powerful tax stimulus. There is a path that is not being given enough attention and that could well be the missing link: the sustainable tax stimulus.
Francisco Vidal (Intermoney) | The next few days will be interesting as EU leaders confront the future of the European project, although they will also have to deal with the latest developments on Brexit, and no doubt dedicate time to US commercial belligerence.
Just a couple of years ago, deflation was a concern for US economists. And, although it’s true that this threat has almost disappeared, rises in prices have shown themselves to be surprisingly elusive.
The balancing acts which are devised in Frankfurt oblige us to once again take a look at the present and future of inflation in the Eurozone, focusing our analysis on the prices chain. “The ECB did this exercise and the conclusions favour the institution’s caution,” they explain.
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 %.
Yes, inflation is a global phenomenon, and inflation moving higher elsewhere will help Euro area inflation. According to BoAML, while the global backdrop will be helping, it will not move the needle enough to sustain inflation beyond the mid-year hump. Analysts think that a gradual improvement in the global output gap will generate a cumulative increase of 5bps in Euro area core inflation.
It was expected Draghi to avoid any discussion of early exit from QE and he did so. The ECB’s president stuck to the December line. “Self sustained”, not “transient” inflation is wanted. Still, things may complicate this spring.