Drop back in bond yields takes pressure off ECB

The fall in sovereign bond yields over the past week may make things a little easier for the ECB Governing Council when it meets on 10th June. We think it is likely to replace its commitment to make “significantly” higher bond purchases than in Q1 with a less specific commitment to keep financing conditions favourable. Next week we expect to learn that inflation got very close to 2% in May (data on Tuesday) while the final PMIs for May will show a big improvement in Spain and Italy (Thursday). Retail sales data for April (Friday) will probably fall in m/m terms as a lot of shops were closed in France. Finally, note that the Capital Economics London “office” will be closed on Monday.
Andrew Kenningham Chief Europe Economist
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European Economics Weekly

Energy, semi-conductors and Italy’s Green Pass

The continued high level of energy prices strengthens our view that euro-zone inflation will keep rising in the coming months. But by lowering consumers’ purchasing power, it could actually reduce inflationary pressure in the medium term. Meanwhile, data released this week added to the evidence that supply problems are weighing on German car manufacturers, and things are unlikely to get better any time soon. Finally, Italy’s new Green Pass requirement for workers came into force today, sparking protests at a number of ports. But so far the disruption seems to have been limited.

15 October 2021

European Data Response

Euro-zone Industrial Production (Aug)

The large decline in euro-zone industrial production in August was largely due to supply shortages affecting production, particularly in the German auto sector. While demand is still strong, prolonged supply shortages and high input prices suggest manufacturing will continue to struggle in Q4.

13 October 2021

European Economics Update

“Underlying inflation” still weak

Core inflation in the euro-zone rose to 1.9% in September, its highest level in nearly 13 years, but other measures of underlying inflation are much lower. This supports our view that when the temporary forces pushing up inflation have faded, the core rate will settle well below the ECB’s target.

12 October 2021

More from Andrew Kenningham

European Economics Update

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.

8 July 2021

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
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