ECB’s new target marks death of Bundesbank tradition

If confirmed, the ECB’s decision to adopt a 2% inflation target and allow room to overshoot it if needed would mark a historic shift towards the mainstream for the ECB. It would have no immediate implications for monetary policy, but in the longer run may imply policy would be looser for longer.
Andrew Kenningham Chief Europe Economist
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European Economics Weekly

Rising Covid fears will keep policymakers dovish

It is too early to judge how serious the B.1.1.529 variant will turn out to be, but it certainly reinforces the case for central banks to be ultra-cautious when withdrawing their policy support. We now think that at its next meeting, the ECB will make clear that even if it intends to end net PEPP purchases in March, it stands ready to start them again if needed. That in turn should help to keep bond yields and spreads low. Meanwhile, we are braced for some “shock” inflation numbers next week, but they should mark the peak and inflation is likely to fall quite sharply next year.

26 November 2021

European Economics Update

PEPP not guaranteed to end in March

The account of October’s ECB meeting suggests that it is by no means guaranteed that net PEPP purchases will end in March. And even if they do, the Bank may well leave open the possibility of re-starting PEPP purchases later in 2022 if needed. Meanwhile, we agree with the ECB’s message that investors have got ahead of themselves by pricing in interest rates hikes for next year.

25 November 2021

European Data Response

German Ifo Survey (November)

The fall in the Ifo Business Climate Index (BCI) for November was in line with expectations and suggests that the German economy was struggling even before the recent tightening of Covid restrictions. Things will be much worse in December as coronavirus restrictions are tightened further.

24 November 2021

More from Andrew Kenningham

European Chart Book

Activity taking off as hospitality reopens

The economy has continued to rebound strongly as governments have lifted almost all restrictions on retail and restaurants and eased rules on foreign travel. Restaurant bookings are back above pre-pandemic levels and the number of flights is rising steeply (no pun intended!). This rebound is likely to put a bit more pressure on inflation, which looks set to resume its upward course in the second half of the year after pausing in June. The latest statements from key policymakers suggest that the ECB is in no hurry to scale back its asset purchases, but we think the Governing Council will begin to taper its bond-buying in the coming months.

7 July 2021

European Data Response

German Industrial Production (May)

The small decline in German industrial production in May, which left it well below its pre-pandemic level, was due to another big fall in vehicle production. The problems in that, admittedly important, sector are likely to be resolved only gradually, but otherwise the German economy is recovering strongly.

7 July 2021

European Economics Weekly

Surveys overstating peak price pressures

At face value the business surveys published this week suggest that euro-zone inflation may soon rise to around 4%. However, we think it is unlikely to get as high as this and, even if it does, will drop back again early next year. The run of positive economic data is set to continue next week with euro-zone retail sales and German industrial production for May, and final PMIs for June. The account of the last ECB monetary policy meeting may shed some light on the debate over when it will start to taper its asset purchases.

2 July 2021
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