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.
The ECB decision is wise and balanced. It may disappoint many in Germany. The extension of the PSPP programme was inevitable as the risks to the euro area economy are still huge and the ECB is likely to miss its price stability mandate through 2019.
The ECB decision is wise as it leaves all options open. The ECB is introducing more flexibility through the changes to the PSPP programme. The ECB decision implies a longer period of low interest rates
The European Central Bank is facing a difficult dilemma. The slower the euro area economy is growing, the lower interest rates and the harder it becomes for the ECB to implement its public sector purchase program. The ECB has assumed a wait-and-see strategy in the hope that its new measures will be effective and the economy will not deteriorate further. Italy’s banking crisis, more than the Brexit, is an enormous risk for the entire euro area, also for Germany, and
An important aspect, that has been widely ignored in the debate about the consequences of a Brexit, is the impact on ECB monetary policy. Lower oil prices and a weaker economy in the euro zone and in Germany are likely to increase deflationary pressures further. As a consequence, the ECB is likely to extend its expansionary monetary policy path further into the future. The Brexit will most likely imply a longer period of zero interest rates for the euro area.
The German constitutional court took a wise decision, but which is effectively a reversal of its earlier decision of January 2014. The court now accepts the authority and the decision by the European Court of Justice on the ECB’s OMT program of 2015. The backing down of the German constitutional court is a smart move, as it would inevitably have lost the battle against the European Court of Justice on issues of European law.
The ECB has signaled that low inflation is likely to persist even longer than previously feared. The new projections by the ECB have increased the probability of an extension of QE beyond March 2017. The ECB is putting great hopes into its new liquidity program for banks in order to improve credit to the private sector, strengthen the economy and thereby raise the inflation rate.
“With its decision, the ECB has signalled the continuation of its expansionary monetary policy. The ECB policy of low interest rates will not end soon. I expect interest rates to remain close to zero for another 3 to 4 years.
In the latest Spotlight, DIW President Marcel Fratzscher explains why helicopter money offers the possibility to “circumvent” the banking system and make loans and funding directly available to households and private companies, which would help the ECB to fulfill their price stability mandate again.
Mr. Fratzscher, there are concerns about an overall lack of investment in Germany. Is the problem more urgent in the public sector or in the private sector? The investment gap exists in both the public and private sector. Three years ago, we calculated that Germany’s investment gap amounts to roughly 75 billion euros per year. The investment gap has also been confirmed by other studies. The problem is definitely more urgent in the private sector.