ECB Europe

Comment on the latest ECB council meeting (January, 25)

The ECB has to strike a delicate balance between preparing markets for an exit from QE and keeping its options open to extend its QE program further, if need be. The most difficult challenge for the ECB is that it is still not sufficiently fulfilling its price stability mandate despite a stronger than expected euro area recovery. The stronger Euro, which is pushing down inflation, does not make life any easier for the central bank.

After today’s press conference, an … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets ECB

Comment on the latest ECB council meeting

The ECB is acting wisely by resisting pressure for a faster exit from QE. Continuity and reliability are two important elements of the ECB’s policy stance to avoid a taper tantrum and excessive market volatility. I am confident that the economic recovery of the euro area will allow the ECB to end its QE program in September 2018. But it is an illusion to expect a fast rise in interest rates after the end of QE. The low interest rate … [continue reading]

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ECB Europe Monetary Policy

The ECB can only tighten its monetary policy gradually

The ECB has chosen a gradual and cautious exit from its expansionary monetary policy stance. The decision gives the ECB a maximum of flexibility for exiting QE. I expect the ECB to terminate its QE program after September 2018 and to raise rates for the first time in 2019 at the earliest. The ECB can tighten policy only gradually as it is only slowly approaching its price stability mandate. The ECB has to maintain a high degree of flexibility in … [continue reading]

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ECB Europe Monetary Policy

Statement on the lawsuit against ECB QE program

The decision of the German constitutional court concerning the lawsuit against ECB QE program is a false compromise. The constitutional court signals that it considers the ECB QE program as a violation of European law and to constitute monetary financing. Yet the constitutional court is not willing to take a decision itself at this stage, but rather asks the European court of justice (ECJ) for “advice”.

I expect that the ECJ will again support the ECB, as it did with … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets ECB Europe Monetary Policy

Statement on ECB interest rate decision

The ECB keeps its options open about the exit of its expansionary monetary policy stance. There has been no significant change in ECB communication. The statement by President Draghi makes a very gradual tapering of its bond purchases in 2018 the most likely path. Many open questions about ECB monetary policy remain unanswered. It is still open when the ECB will end its bond purchases and when it will start raising interest rates.

The overreaction of financial markets to ECB … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets ECB Europe

Statement on the ECB council meeting (June 8, 2017)

The ECB has now cautiously started its monetary policy reversal, even if only through words rather than deeds. The change in communication is an important step in the right direction.

Many in Germany consider the ECB’s exit as too slow. Many underestimate the importance of the ECB decision, which signals a sustained monetary policy tightening for the first time in more than ten years. The ECB is right in preparing the exit gradually and not abruptly in order not to … [continue reading]

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Business Cycles, Growth, Economic Structure Currency and Financial Markets ECB Economic Policy Europe Macroeconomics

Statement on the ECB council meeting (April 27, 2017)

It is wise for the ECB to stick to its policy strategy and not let itself be impressed by criticism from Germany. The pressure from Germany for the ECB to end its expansionary policy stance prematurely has increased. The ECB is right to resist the pressure from Germany as the economic and financial risks for the euro area are still significant.

The ECB is only gradually getting closer to meeting its price stability mandate as in particular core inflation is … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets ECB Europe

Statement on today’s meeting of the Council of the European Central Bank (ECB)

The ECB is right to orientate its policy towards price stability at the mid-term and not to react to short-term price movements. Calls for an early exit of the ECB’s expansive policy are misplaced and premature. The price dynamics of the past two months mainly reflect a normalization of energy prices. The euro area economy remains weak and unemployment rates are too high to allow for a quick return to price stability and for an end to the expansive monetary … [continue reading]

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Business Cycles, Growth, Economic Structure Currency and Financial Markets ECB Economic Policy Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

Germany’s Misunderstood Trade Surplus

Now that Germany’s current-account surplus has reached a record €270 billion ($285 billion), or close to 8.7% of GDP, the ongoing debate about its economic model has intensified. Eurozone politicians and Donald Trump’s administration in the United States are each blaming the other for the economic imbalance; and all are blaming the euro.

Trump’s administration, for its part, has attacked Germany for exporting too much, and accused it of manipulating the euro. In fact, Germany’s trade surplus has little to … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets ECB Monetary Policy

Statement on the meeting of the Council of the European Central Bank

ECB President Draghi has clearly signaled a continuation of its current course of monetary policy. The rising inflation trend is a positive, welcome development for everyone. Especially Germany should welcome the positive trend in inflation. The sooner the ECB can achieve its price stability objective of 2%, the sooner the ECB can end its expansionary monetary policy stance. … [continue reading]

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