This is the question we could well raise the day after Mario Draghi’s press conference that followed the monetary policy meeting.
The President of the ECB was emphatic in convincing his audience and the entire investment community that there is no question of the central bank changing the way it operates for now, even though it has adjusted the way it communicates on its policy. Any reference to a possible cut in interest rates was deleted from the press release, but according to Mario Draghi, this is not enough to indicate the announcement of a change in policy. The ECB is neither ready nor willing to change policy.
Insufficient inflation, which lags well behind the 2% target set out by the ECB, is the main factor behind this status quo. The President of the ECB again insisted that inflation volatility was solely due to oil price fluctuations. The other components of inflation are much more stable and increased by only slightly less than 1% per year on average over the past three years. This is low and still below the target. The ECB therefore has no reason to rush to change its stance. Continue reading
4 points to keep in mind after the ECB meeting
1 – The forward guidance has changed. In the press release the possibility of lower interest rates has been erased (see here). It’s a real change in the ECB communication. Draghi said that this was linked to the fact that the risk of deflation is now null.
BUT the ECB president said that it was not a change or the announcement of a change in the ECB monetary strategy. Continue reading
The document Economic Outlook for March 2017 is available here
Economic Outlook – March 2017
This article written Benedicta Marzinotto, on Project Syndicate, explains what are the fragilities of the Euro Area despite all the structural reforms that has been accomplished. In case of a crisis, high indebted countries would face again high difficulties to maintain their stability.
Despite recently experiencing an overall economic uptick, the eurozone remains fragile and uninsured against the risk of another crisis. And a major reason is that it is still vulnerable to asymmetric boom-and-bust cycles.
Simply put, while all eurozone members can benefit during good times, some suffer far more than others during busts. This means that whenever the next crisis hits, safety-conscious investors will flee from fiscally weak countries toward fiscally strong ones that have a proven track record of generating economic growth…..
Read the article here
There was a real improvement in the employment momentum in 2016 in the Euro Area. Employment growth was 1.3%, the best figure since 2007.
This dynamics will continue at least during the first half of 2017. The Markit sub-Index on employment suggests a real improvement in months to come.
Since 2014 the employment is upward trending and a positive profile. In fact it is since the end of austerity policies