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24 August 2017 Markets Will Look in Vain for QE Clues from Mr. Draghi this Week (Publication Centre)

Eurozone investors are fixed on Mr. Draghi's speaking schedule this week, looking for hints of the ECB's future policy path.

23 Oct. 2015 Dovish Mr. Draghi All But Promises More QE in December (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi gave one of his most dovish performances to date yesterday. The central bank kept its main interest rates and the pace of QE unchanged, but reiterated that risks to growth and inflation are tilted to the downside. The president noted further that the existing policies will be "reexamined" in December in light of updated staff projections. It is difficult to see how the downbeat assessment on the economy will change materially from now until December, indicating that further stimulus is likely.

20 November 2017 Low Core Inflation Continues to Provide Cover for Mr. Draghi (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's speech to the European Banking Congress on Friday--see here--was a timely reminder to markets that the ECB is in no hurry to make any changes to its policy setting.

22 Jan. 2016 Mr. Draghi Won't Give Up On Low Inflation, Promising More Easing (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB meeting provided no immediate relief to nervous investors. The central bank kept its main interest rates unchanged, and maintained the pace of QE purchases at €60B per month. Mr. Draghi compensated for the lack of action, however, by hinting heavily at further easing at its next meeting. The president emphasized that the ECB's policies will be "reviewed and reconsidered" in light of the March update to the staff projections. Mr. Draghi also admitted that inflation has been "weaker than expected" since the last meeting, and that downside risks have increased further. The central bank does not pre-commit, but we think it is a good bet that the ECB will do more in March.

18 May. 2015 A Dovish Mr. Draghi Confirms Pledge to Implement QE in Full (Publication Centre)

Comments by Mr. Draghi in Washington last week point to a high bar for an adjustment to the QE program. The ECB president noted that while asset purchases and negative interest rates have driven a notable improvement in confidence and asset prices, the real key to the central bank's policies' success is a lasting boost to investment, consumption and inflation.

17 July. 2015 A Dovish Mr. Draghi Assures Markets the ECB is Here to Help (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB press conference confirmed our view that Mr. Draghi is the periphery's friend, not enemy. Crucially, the central bank agreed to increase emergency liquidity assistance--ELA--to Greek banks by €900M. This is consistent tent with the agreement by the Eurogroup to give Greece €7B bridge financing, and shows the ECB is ready to act on the back of only a temporary truce between Greece and the EU. The increase in ELA is modest, and we doubt a painful restructuring of the banking system can be avoided. But with Greek bond yields falling, the available pool of collateral will go up, allowing the central bank to provide further relief in coming weeks.

29 August 2017 No Hints on the Future of QE from Mr. Draghi in Jackson Hole (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi snubbed investors looking for hints on policy and the euro in his Jackson Hole address--see here--on Friday.

3 Dec. 2015 Great Expectations of the ECB, But Mr. Draghi Will Not Disappoint (Publication Centre)

Even Charles Dickens could not have written a more dramatic prologue to today's ECB meeting. Elevated expectations ahead of major policy events always leave room for major disappointment, but we think the central bank will deliver. Advance data yesterday indicated inflation was unchanged at 0.1% year-over-year in November, below the consensus 0.2%, and providing all the ammunition the doves need to push ahead. We expect the central bank to cut the deposit rate by 20bp to -0.4%, to increase the pace of bond purchases by €10B to €70B a month, and to extend QE to March 2017.

26 January 2018 The Euro and EZ Bond Yields are not for Turning, Even by Mr Draghi (Publication Centre)

As expected, the ECB made no changes to its policy stance today. The refi and deposit rates were left at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of purchases under QE was maintained at €30B per month.

25 January 2018 Mr. Draghi Has a Lot of Explaining to do at Today's ECB Meeting (Publication Centre)

The ECB won't make any changes to its policy settings today.

12 Apr. 2016 Will Mr. Draghi Upgrade his Bazooka to a Helicopter this Year? (Publication Centre)

Two years ago markets believed that the institutional setup of the Eurozone would be a straitjacket on the ECB, preventing QE. Aggressive policy actions since then have proven this hypothesis wrong. But inflation remains low and sentiment data weakened ominously in the first quarter.

3 Nov. 2015 Inflation Will Rise Faster Than the ECB Expects Next Year (Publication Centre)

Mixed comments last week by members of the governing council raised doubts over the ECB's resolve to add further stimulus next month. But the message from senior figures and Mr. Draghi remains that the Central Bank intends to "re-assess" its monetary policy tools in December. Our main reading of last month's meeting is that Mr. Draghi effectively pre-committed to further easing. This raises downside risks in the event of no action, but the President normally doesn't disappoint the market in these instances.

8 December. 2016 The ECB Will Extend QE Today, but Also Signal its Eventual End (Publication Centre)

The scars from previous economic crises have not healed fully in the Eurozone, and we think the ECB will extend QE today, by six months to Q3 2017. We expect Mr. Draghi to retain his dovish bias in the opening statement, and to repeat the emphasis on downside risks, due to the weak external environment and political fears.

12 December 2017 Will the ECB Live to Regret Buying Corporate Bonds as Part of QE?EZ 12 December 2017 (Publication Centre)

Investors in euro-denominated corporate debt will be listening closely to Mr. Draghi this week for hints on how the ECB intends to balance QE between public and private debt next year.

28 Sept. 2015 ECB is on Alert, but No Warning, So Far, From the Economy (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi used his introductory statement at the ECON--EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee-- hearing last week to assure investors that the central bank is vigilant to downside risks. The president noted the governing council "would not hesitate to act" if it deems growth and inflation to be undershooting expectations. Market volatility has increased the ECB's worries, but economic data continue to tell a story of a firm business cycle upturn.

4 June. 2015 Inflation forecasts up, but Doves remain in charge at the ECB (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi struck a dovish tone yesterday, despite the new ECB staff projections upgrading the inflation forecast this year to an average of 0.3%, up from the zero predicted in March. The president reiterated that the central bank's expectation of a gradual improvement in inflation and real GDP growth is conditional on the full implementation of QE.

4 Dec. 2015 A Bad Day for ECB Doves - New Policies Fall Short of Expectations (Publication Centre)

On all accounts, the ECB announced a significant addition to its stimulus program yesterday. The central bank cut the deposit rate by 0.1%, to -0.3%, and extended the duration of QE until March 2017. The ECB also increased the scope of eligible assets to include regional and local government debt; decided to re-invest principal bond payments; and affirmed its commitment to long-term refinancing operations in the financial sector for as long as necessary. The measures were not agreed upon unanimously, but the majority was, according to Mr. Draghi, "very large".

5 Dec. 2014 Sovereign QE at the ECB is Likely on Menu Early Next Year (Publication Centre)

The divergence between talk and action is steadily widening into a chasm at the ECB. Mr. Draghi continued to strike a dovish tone yesterday reiterating the elevated worries over low inflation and the unanimous commitment to provide further stimulus if needed.

17 Feb. 2016 Will the ECB be Forced to Rethink its Negative Interest Rate Policy? (Publication Centre)

The ECB's negative interest rate policy--NIRP--has come under the spotlight following the violent selloff in Eurozone bank equities. Mr. Draghi reassured markets and the EU parliament earlier this week that new regulation, stronger capital buffers, and common recognition of non-performing loans have made Eurozone banks stronger.

16 Feb. 2016 The ECB Remains on Track to Deliver More Easing in March (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's introductory statement before yesterday's hearing at the European Parliament repeated that the ECB will "review and possibly reconsider its monetary policy stance in March." But it didn't provide any conclusive smoking gun that further easing is a done deal.

23 Jan. 2015 The ECB gets ahead of the curve with significant QE program (Publication Centre)

The ECB sent a strong signal yesterday that it is ready to fight deflation with a full range of unconventional monetary policy tools. Asset purchases, including sovereigns, to the tune of €60B per month will begin in March, and will run until end-September 2016, but Mr. Draghi noted that purchases could continue if the ECB is not satisfied with the trajectory of inflation.

19 January 2017 The ECB Will Stand Pat Today After Policy Adjustments Last Month (Publication Centre)

The ECB won't make any major changes to its policy stance today. We think the central bank will keep its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.00%, and that it will maintain its deposit and marginal lending facility rate at -0.4% and 0.25%, respectively. The central bank also will keep the pace of QE unchanged at €80B per month until March, and at €60B hereafter until December. This is the first ECB meeting for some time in which Mr. Draghi will be able to report significantly higher inflation in the euro area.

6 Mar. 2015 A more upbeat Mr. Draghi, but QE is not challenged by better economic data (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi was in a slightly more bullish mood yesterday, noting that the significant easing of financial conditions in recent months and improving sentiment show that monetary policy "has worked". Economic risks are tilted to the downside, according to the president, but they have also "diminished".

CNBC - Is Draghi about to massively misfire? (Media Centre)

Is Draghi about to massively misfire?

28 June 2017 A Difficult Balancing Act for Mr. Draghi on Growth and Inflation (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's speech yesterday in Portugal, at the ECB forum on Central Banking, pushed the euro and EZ government bond yields higher. The markets' hawkish interpretation was linked to the president's comment that "The threat of deflation is gone and reflationary forces are at play."

CNBC - D-Day for Draghi (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics, provides insight to the European Central Bank's path and whether to expect Mario Draghi to announce additional stimulus.

27 April 2018 Did the ECB Just Tell Markets to Look Extra-Closely at the Q2 Data? (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB meeting was comfortably uneventful for markets.

27 April 2017 Today's ECB Meeting Will be a Snoozer for Markets (Publication Centre)

It's always dangerous when risk assets rally strongly into an ECB meeting, but we doubt that investors have much to fear from today's session in Frankfurt. We think the central bank will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively.

25 August. 2015 Market Panic Puts Pressure on ECB, but Fed's Response is Key (Publication Centre)

Weakness in risk assets turned into panic yesterday with the Eurostoxx falling over 6%, taking the accumulated decline to 19% since the beginning of August, and volatility hitting a three-year high. Market crashes of this kind are usually followed by a period of violent ups and downs, and we expect volatile trading in coming weeks. Following an extended bull market in risk assets, the key question investors will be asking is whether the economic cycle is turning.

3 Sept. 2015 No Additional Easing, but ECB to Face Tough Questions on Inflation (Publication Centre)

Today's ECB meeting will be accompanied by an update of the staff projections, where the inflation outlook will be in the spotlight. The June forecasts predicted an average inflation rate of 0.3% year-over-year this year, currently requiring a rather steep increase in inflation towards 1.1% at the end of the year. We think this is achievable, but we doubt the ECB is willing to be as bold, and it is reasonable to assume this year's forecast will be revised down a notch.

26 April 2018 All Set for a Dovish ECB Meeting Today? (Publication Centre)

The ECB will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% unchanged today, and it will also maintain the pace of QE at €30B per month.

3 March 2017 EZ Inflation Hit by Perfect Storm in Q1, Headline Will Ease in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Inflation pressures in the Eurozone are building rapidly, setting up an "interesting" ECB meeting next week. Yesterday's advance CPI report showed that inflation edged up further in February to 2.0%, from 1.8% in January. The headline rate is now in line with the ECB's target, and up sharply from the average of 0.2% last year.

29 March 2017 The Alternative Interpretation of Political Uncertainty in the EZ (Publication Centre)

The presumption in markets is that the French presidential election is the last hurdle to be overcome in the EZ economy. As long as Marine Le Pen is kept out of l'Élysée, animal spirits will be released in the economy and financial markets. We concede that a Le Pen victory would result in chaos, at least in the short run. Bond spreads would widen, equities would crash and the euro would plummet. But we also suspect that such volatility would be short-lived, similar to the convulsions after Brexit.

3 June. 2015 Inflation is rising, but the ECB will confirm its dovish stance today (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor, we laid out the macroeconomic case for moderately higher inflation in the second half of the year. But subdued market based inflation expectations indicate that the ECB will retain its dovish bias for now. The central bank's preferred measure, 5-year/5-year forward inflation expectations, have only increased modestly in response to QE, and have even declined recently on the back of higher market volatility.

28 July 2017 The Eurozone is in fine form, as we start our summer break (Publication Centre)

This is the final report before your scribe disappears into the Scottish Highlands for a few weeks, and we are leaving you with a Eurozone economy in fine form. The calendar will be relatively light in our absence and will tell us what we already know; namely that the euro area economy maintained its strong momentum in Q2.

28 April 2017 The ECB is Happier about the Economy, But not Inflation (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB meeting painted a picture of a central bank in wait-and-see mode. The main refinancing and deposit rates were kept at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and the marginal lending facility rate also was unchanged at 0.25%.

27 October 2017 The ECB Announces Reduced QE Next Year, and Markets Like It (Publication Centre)

The ECB broadly conformed to markets' expectations today. The central bank maintained its key refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and delivered the consensus package on QE.

24 Nov. 2015 Bullish PMI Survey Won't Prevent Further ECB Stimulus (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's PMI reports repeated the message of a firm cyclical Eurozone recovery, despite investors' angst over deflation and the underwhelming Q3 GDP data earlier this month. The composite index in the zone rose to a 54-month high of 54.4 in November from 53.9 in October, lifted by strong output and solid new business growth. Our first chart shows the rise in the PMI points to slight upside risks in Q4 to the four quarter trend in real GDP growth of 0.4% per quarter.

3 June. 2016 A Perfect ECB Balancing Act, But it Will Become More Difficult Soon (Publication Centre)

The ECB stood pat yesterday, keeping its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at zero and -0.4%, respectively. The marginal lending facility rate was also left at 0.25%, and the monthly pace of QE was maintained at €80B, with a preliminary end-date in the first quarter of 2017. Purchases of corporate bonds will begin June 8, and the first new TLTRO auction will take place June 22.

23 Nov. 2015 The Challenge of Surging Migration Won't Go Away Soon (Publication Centre)

The flow of Middle-Eastern refugees taking the treacherous journey towards Europe continues unabated. UNHCR estimates of arrivals through the Western Balkan route--mainly originating from Greece and Serbia--suggest the average daily number of refugees has been stable so far between October and November at about 11,000. These data are very unreliable, but they indicate that the onset of winter on the European continent--and the added risk to migrants with no shelter--will not deter people from attempting the trip to Europe.

21 June 2018 What Does Enhanced Forward Guidance Mean for Bond Yields (Publication Centre)

Last week's ECB meeting--see here--made it clear that the central bank does not intend to jump the gun on rate hikes next year, even as QE is scheduled to end in Q4 2018.

21 July. 2016 The ECB Will Stand Pat Today, But Extend QE in September (Publication Centre)

Political uncertainty has surged since the ECB last met, but the central bank likely will refrain from action today. We think the ECB will keep its refi and deposit rates unchanged at 0.05% and -0.4%, respectively, and leave the monthly pace of QE unchanged at €80B.

22 Apr. 2016 The ECB is Worried About Elevated Financial Market Volatility (Publication Centre)

The ECB held fire yesterday and kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.0% and -0.4%, respectively. The central bank also left the pace of monthly asset purchases unchanged at €80B. The introductory statement overall confirmed the central bank's dovish stance.

21 March 2017 Real Wage Growth in the Eurozone is Being Hit by Higher Inflation (Publication Centre)

One of the key characteristics of this euro area business cycle has been near-zero inflation due to structurally weak domestic demand and depressed prices for globally traded goods and commodities. This has supported real incomes, despite sluggish nominal wage growth.

21 October. 2016 The ECB Treads Water, but Hints at December QE Extension (Publication Centre)

The ECB held fire yesterday. The central bank kept its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.0%, and also maintained the deposit and marginal lending facility rates at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively.

30 January 2017 Real M1 Indicates a Solid Start to 2017, but What Happens Next? (Publication Centre)

The business cycle upturn in the Eurozone likely will remain resilient in the first half of 2017. Friday's money supply data showed that headline M3 growth increased to 5.0% in December, from 4.9% in November.

22 July. 2016 The ECB Tells Investors to go on Holiday and Come Back in Q3 (Publication Centre)

As widely expected, the ECB held fire yesterday. The central bank left its main refi rate unchanged at zero, and also kept the pace of QE unchanged at €80B a month. The deposit and marginal lending facility rates were also left unchanged at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively. The formal end-date of QE is still Q1 2017, but the press release repeated the message that QE can continue "beyond [Q1 2017], if necessary, and in any case until it sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim."

24 June. 2016 The U.K. Wants out of the EU, and Markets are Not Happy (Publication Centre)

The two polls suggesting the U.K. would remain in the EU yesterday proved to be a noose for investors to hang themselves with, as the results pointed to a vote for Brexit. Markets already are in disarray, and the direction is as we expected and feared. EUR/GBP is up 7%, and the DAX 30 in Germany is indicated by futures to plunge a hefty 7%-to-8% at the open. Bund yields will collapse too, and all eyes will be on the spread between Germany and the rest of the periphery.

24 January 2018 Government Bonds Can Cope With an End to QE. Can C orporates? (Publication Centre)

Bond markets didn't panic when the ECB announced its intention further to reduce the pace of QE this year, to €30B per month from €60B in 2017.

22 Oct. 2015 Markets Will Have to Settle for Just Dovish ECB Rhetoric Today (Publication Centre)

Investors looking for more QE and rate cuts will be disappointed by ECB inaction today. We think the Central Bank will keep its main interest rates unchanged, and also maintain the pace of asset purchases at €60B a month. We do, however, look for a slight change in language, hinting that QE is likely to continue beyond September next year.

21 July 2017 Don't Bet the Farm on a Major QE Decision in September (Publication Centre)

The ECB pressed the repeat button yesterday. The central bank maintained its refinancing rate at 0.00%, and also kept the deposit and marginal lending facility rate at -0.4% and 0.25 respectively. The pace of QE was held at €60B per month, scheduled to run until the end of December, "or beyond, if necessary."

24 Mar. 2015 Risks are Rising Rapidly in Greece, but Grexit Will Likely be Avoided (Publication Centre)

In a letter earlier this month, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras warned German chancellor Angela Merkel that failure to disburse additional bailout funds would lead to an imminent cash crunch. Last week's meeting with EU leaders and the ECB yielded no progress, intensifying the risk that Greece will literally run out of money within weeks.

7 November. 2016 EZ Growth is Stable, but Inflation is Rising (Publication Centre)

The two major EZ economic reports released while we were away conformed to the consensus. Advance data suggest that real GDP in the euro area rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, the same pace as in Q2, and the year-over-year rate was similarly unchanged at 1.6%.

8 May 2018 Into the Weeds with the ECB: How will the Central Bank Proceed? (Publication Centre)

Calling the ECB has suddenly become a lot more complicated.

8 September 2017 The ECB is worried about a strong euro (Publication Centre)

The ECB made no changes to its policy stance yesterday. The central bank left its refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and maintained the pace of QE at €60B per month. The program will run until December "or beyond, if necessary."

8 June 2017 Subdued Core Inflation Gives ECB Doves the Upper Hand Today (Publication Centre)

The ECB will keep all its policy parameters unchanged today. The refi and deposit rates will be maintained at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of QE will stay at €60B per month, running until the end of the year.

8 Dec. 2014 The Hunt for Yield is Still On, But it Comes With Higher Risk Next Year (Publication Centre)

Divergence between central banks and the reach for yield will remain dominant themes for Eurozone fixed income markets next year, but a lot has already been priced in.

8 Apr. 2016 Net Exports Likely Weighed on French GDP Growth Again in Q1 (Publication Centre)

External demand in France probably weakened in the first quarter. The trade deficit widened sharply to €5.2B in February, from a revised €3.9B in January, pushing the current account deficit to an 18-month high. It is tempting to blame the stronger euro, but that wasn't the whole story.

8 September. 2016 The ECB Will Extend QE Today (Publication Centre)

Markets are looking for the ECB to extend QE today, and we think they will get their way. We expect the central bank to prolong the program by six months, to September 2017, and to maintain the pace of monthly purchases at €80B per month.

9 December. 2016 The ECB Sent a Dovish Signal Yesterday, QE is Here to Stay (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB meeting left investors with a lot of thinking to do. The central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged, but extended and tweaked its asset purchase program. QE was extended until December 2017, but the monthly pace of purchases will be reduced by €20B per month to €60B starting April next year.

9 Nov. 2015 Investors Should Brace for a Poor German Q3 GDP Report (Publication Centre)

Friday's industrial production data capped another dreadful week for German manufacturing. Output fell 1.1% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate lower to 0.2%, from a revised 2.9% in August. The 0.6% upward revision of the previous month's data makes the data slightly less awful than the headline, but the details showed weakness across all core sectors. The underlying trend in production is stable at about 1.2% year-over-year, but downbeat new orders suggest it will weaken in the fourth quarter.

9 September. 2016 The ECB Underwhelms, But QE Extension is Likely in December (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB policy decision was a carbon copy of the announcement in July. The central bank maintained its key refinancing rate at 0.00%, and also kept its deposit and marginal lending facility rates unchanged at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively. The ECB also kept the pace of QE unchanged at €80B per month. Finally, the central bank refrained from formally extending QE.

9 March 2018 The ECB is Edging Towards the QE Exit, but Rates set to Remain Low (Publication Centre)

The ECB made no major policy changes yesterday, but tweaked its communication. The key refinancing and deposit rates were kept at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of QE was maintained at €30B per month.

9 March 2017 The Devil is in the De tail for the ECB's Communication Today (Publication Centre)

We predict no major policy changes at the ECB today. We think the central bank will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively. We also expect the ECB will leave the pace of QE unchanged at €60 per month until December 2017, at least.

9 June 2017 The ECB's World: Accelerating GDP Growth and Lower Inflation (Publication Centre)

The headline changes in yesterday's ECB policy announcement were largely as expected. The central bank left its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and maintained the pace of QE at €60B per month. The central bank also delivered the two expected changes to its introductory statement. The reference to "lower levels" was removed from the forward guidance on rates, signalling that the ECB does not expect that rates will be lowered anytime soon.

7 September 2017 The ECB will Set up Markets Today for a QE Decision in Q4 (Publication Centre)

Today's ECB meeting will follow the same script as in July. No-one expects the central bank to make any formal changes to its policy settings. The ECB will keep its main refinancing and deposit rates at zero and -0.4%, respectively.

21 Jan. 2016 The ECB is Under Pressure to Act, but Likely Will Hold Fire Today (Publication Centre)

Financial markets have put maximum pressure on the ECB going into today's meeting, but we doubt it will be enough to spur the governing council into action so soon after announcing additional stimulus in December. We think the central bank will keep its refi and deposit rate unchanged at 0.05% and -0.3% respectively, and maintain the pace of asset purchases at €60B a month.

4 January 2017 Surging EZ Inflation will Comfortably Beat the Consensus Today (Publication Centre)

German inflation surged in December, pointing to an upside surprise in today's advance EZ report. The headline inflation rate rose to a three-year high of 1.7% year-over-year in December, from 0.8% in November. This was the biggest increase in the year- over-year rate since 1993.

4 June 2018 All the Bogeymen are Back in the Eurozone Economy (Publication Centre)

At the start of the year, #euroboom was the moniker used in financial media to describe the EZ economy.

30 November 2017 Headline and Core Inflation in the Eurozone Rebounded in November (Publication Centre)

Today's data likely will show that inflation in the Eurozone rebounded in November.

30 May 2018 New Elections Loom in Italy as Bond Markets Panic (Publication Centre)

Price action in Italian bonds went from hairy to scary yesterday as two-year yields jumped to just under 3.0%.

30 May 2017 How Durable is the Euro's Rally Against the Dollar? (Publication Centre)

Fiscal stimulus, partly financed by a border adjustment tax, and Fed rate hikes, were supposed to be a powerful cocktail driving a stronger dollar in 2017. But so far only the Fed has delivered--we expect another rate hike next month--while Mr. Trump has disappointed in the White House.

4 October 2017 Can EZ Investors Still Exploit Monetary Policy Divergence? (Publication Centre)

Global monetary policy divergence has returned with a vengeance. In the U.S., despite recent soft CPI data, a resolute Fed has prompted markets to reprice rates across the curve.

5 December 2017 The ECB Wants a Steeper Curve in 2018. Will Markets Oblige? (Publication Centre)

This week's detailed Q3 GDP data will confirm that the euro area economy is going from strength to strength.

6 May. 2016 Will the Periphery's Resilience to Political Risks Persist? (Publication Centre)

Political risks in the periphery have simmered constantly during this cyclical recovery, but they have increased recently. In Italy, the government is scrambling to find a solution to rid its ailing banking sector of bad loans. But recapitalisation via a bad bank is not possible under new EU rules.

7 June 2018 Should the ECB Teach Shorts in Italian Two-year BTPs a Lesson? (Publication Centre)

This week's uproar over the ECB's purchases of Italian debt in May--or lack thereof--shows that monetary policy in the euro is never far removed from the political sphere.

6 January 2017 Will the ECB's Doves Be Overrun by Higher Inflation in 2017? (Publication Centre)

Inflation in the Eurozone is on the rise but, as we explained in yesterday's Monitor it is unlikely to prompt the ECB further to reduce the pace of QE in the short run. The central bank has signalled a shift in focus towards core inflation, at a still-low 0.9% well below the 2% target. But the core rate also is a lagging indicator, and we think it will creep higher in 2017.

5 Mar. 2015 Bond Markets in the Eurozone Will Stay Crazy as the ECB Starts QE (Publication Centre)

The ECB will keep interest rates on hold later today, and the commitment to monthly asset purchases of €60B--of which €50B will be sovereigns--until September next year will also remain unchanged. Sovereign QE should begin formally next week, but it has already turned bond markets upside down.

5 January 2017 The ECB won't panic over surging EZ inflation in Q1 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's advance CPI report in the Eurozone showed that inflation pressures are rising rapidly. Inflation rose to 1.1% year-over-year in December, from 0.6% in November. Surging energy inflation was the key driver, and this component likely will continue to rise in the next few months. Core inflation, however, stayed subdued, rising only slightly to 0.9%, from 0.8% in November.

30 June 2017 EZ Inflation Data are Complicating Life for the ECB and Markets (Publication Centre)

Advance country data indicate that headline EZ inflation fell slightly in June; we think the rate dipped to 1.3% year-over-year, from 1.4% in May.

19 May 2017 The ECB is on Track for a Change in Forward Guidance Next Month (Publication Centre)

A Reuters interview yesterday with ECB governing council member Benoît Coeuré cemented expectations that the ECB will adjust its language on forward guidance next month.

14 December 2016 German and Eurozone Inflation is About to Shoot Higher (Publication Centre)

German inflation pressures were unchanged last month. The CPI index rose 0.8% year-over-year, matching the increase in October, and in line with the consensus and initial estimate. Energy deflation intensified marginally, as a result of lower prices for household utilities.

14 August 2017 A Great First Half of 2017 for the EZ Economy, But it Won't Last (Publication Centre)

While we were away, the advance Q2 GDP report in the Eurozone confirmed our expectations of a strong first half of the year for the economy. Real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, the same pace as in Q1, lifting the year-over-year rate to a cyclical high of 2.1%.

13 September. 2016 Are Markets Pricing in a "Reverse" Operation Twist at the ECB? (Publication Centre)

Investors are busily fitting narratives to the sudden reversal in global bond markets. We think a correction was long overdue, but a combination of three factors provides a plausible rationale for the rout, from an EZ perspective.

13 December 2016 Q4 Outlook is Brightening for the EZ Economy (Publication Centre)

One of the main conclusions we drew from last week's ECB meeting was that the QE program is here to stay for a while. If the economy improves, the central bank could reduce the pace of purchases further. But we struggle to come up with a forecast for growth and inflation next year that would allow the ECB to signal that QE is coming to an end.

14 December 2017 The ECB Will Deliver a Carbon Copy of its October Meeting Today (Publication Centre)

Car registrations, French inflation, advance PMIs and a central bank meeting make up today's substantial menu for investors in the euro area.

14 June 2017 Fact-checking the ECB on Low Wages and Employment in the EZ (Publication Centre)

Today's employment report in the euro area should extend the run of positive labour market data. We think employment rose 1.4% year-over-year in Q1, accelerating marginally from a 1.2% increase in Q4.

15 Dec. 2014 Stocks Should Start Well in 2015, But Much Still Hinges on the ECB (Publication Centre)

The equity market this year has been a story of two halves. Hopes of a sustainable economic recovery pushed the benchmark Eurozone equity index to an 7.5% increase in the first six months of the year.

15 Apr. 2015 QE remains uncontested, but will be challenged later this year (Publication Centre)

We expect the ECB to leave its main interest rates, and the scope and size of QE, unchanged at today's meeting. The governing council will recognize that the cyclical recovery is gathering momentum, but also note that inflation is still uncomfortably low.

14 March 2017 The ECB can Raise its Deposit Rate Before QE Ends (Publication Centre)

Markets are becoming more sensitive to rumours about changes in ECB policy. The euro and yields jumped on Friday after a Bloomberg report that the central bank has discussed raising rates before QE ends.

21 February 2018 The ECB is in the Headlines, But Not Because of its Monetary Policy (Publication Centre)

Politics are once again encroaching on the economic story in the Eurozone. At the ECB, this week has so far been a tumultuous one.

12 December 2016 German wage growth is accelerating (Publication Centre)

Data on Friday showed that German wage growth is firming. Nominal labour costs rose 2.5% year-overyear in Q3, accelerating from a revised 1.9% increase in Q2. The main driver was a strong rebound in gross earnings growth, which rebounded to 2.4% year-over-year from an oddly weak 1.2% in Q2.

12 April 2018 A Much-Needed Reality Check on the Eurozone Economy (Publication Centre)

Today's industrial production data in the Eurozone will extend the run of soft headlines at the start of the year.

06 Jan. 2016 Spotlight Back on the ECB after Soft Eurozone Inflation Data (Publication Centre)

Disappointing inflation data remain a critical dark spot in the context of otherwise solid evidence of a firming cyclical recovery. Advance data indicate that inflation was unchanged at a mere 0.2% year-over-year in December, with falling food inflation and a dip in services inflation offsetting easing deflation in energy prices. Headline inflation likely will be volatile in coming months. Base effects will push up the year-over-year rate in energy price inflation further in Q1, but we are wary that continued declines in food inflation could offset this effect.

05 Feb. 2016 Bonds Signal an Imminent EZ Recession, but Don't Take the Bait (Publication Centre)

Strong real M1 growth suggests the cyclical recovery is in good shape. But recent economic data indicate GDP growth slowed in Q4, and survey evidence deteriorated in January. This slightly downbeat message, however, is a far cry from the horror story told by financial markets. The recent collapse in stock-to-bond returns extends the decline which began in Q2 last year, signalling the Eurozone is on the brink of recession.

03 Mar. 2016 A Lower EZ Inflation Target Makes Sense, but Don't Hold Your Breath (Publication Centre)

Distinguishing between the structural and cyclical story is crucial to understanding the inflation picture in the Eurozone. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman recently lamented--New York Times, March 1st--that the Eurozone economy appears to be stalling. We doubt the outlook for GDP growth this year is that dire.

03 Feb. 2016 Cyclical Optimism, but Structural Pessimism, on EZ Unemployment (Publication Centre)

Data yesterday showed that the downward trend in Eurozone unemployment continued towards the end of last year. The unemployment rate fell to 10.4% in December from 10.5% in November, extending an almost uninterrupted decline which began in the first quarter of 2013.

06 October. 2016 Markets' Sensitivity to Shifts in ECB Policy Will Increase Further (Publication Centre)

EZ bond markets were stung earlier this week by a Bloomberg story suggesting that the ECB, in principle, has agreed on a QE exit strategy which involves "tapering" purchases by €10B per month. The story also specified, though, that the central bank has not discussed when tapering will begin.

1 June 2018 Do All Roads in Italian Politics Lead to New Elections Later this Year? (Publication Centre)

The political limbo in Italy currently appears to have three possible solutions, in the short term. The 5SM and Lega can try to form a coalition, again.

11 Mar. 2016 Significant Easing by the ECB Despite Markets' Initial Dissent (Publication Centre)

The ECB atoned for its "mistake" in December yesterday by delivering a new easing package that significantly beat markets' expectations. The central bank cut its main refi and marginal lending facility rates by 0.05 percentage points, to 0.00% and 0.25% respectively.

10 March 2017 A Guide to ECB Speak: Getting Better, but We're not Done Yet (Publication Centre)

The ECB made no major policy changes yesterday. The central bank kept its refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and the scheduled reduction in the pace of QE to €60B per month was confirmed. The core part of the central bank's language retained its dovish bias.

10 Mar. 2016 Another Month, Another Round of Monetary Easing from the ECB (Publication Centre)

The stakes are raised ahead of today's ECB meeting after the central bank's pledge in January to "review and reassess" its policy stance. Since then, survey data have weakened, inflation has fallen and volatility in financial markets has increased. The ECB likely will act accordingly and deliver a boost to monetary stimulus today.

1 September 2017 EZ Energy Inflation will Fall Soon, but the Core Rate will Edge Higher (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's aggregate economic data for the euro area showed that inflation rose slightly in August. The headline rate rose to a four-month high of 1.5% in August from 1.3% in July. The rate was lifted mainly by energy inflation, rising to 4.6% from 2.2% in July, but we think the rebound will be short-lived.

15 December 2017 The ECB's forecasts are wishful thinking (Publication Centre)

The ECB did its utmost not to say or do anything remotely novel today. The central bank kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.40%, respectively, and reiterated its plan for QE next year.

14 June 2018 The Countdown to the End of QE in the Eurozone Begins Today (Publication Centre)

The ECB will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively,

15 June. 2015 A Dangerous Impasse in Debt Negotiations with Greece (Publication Centre)

The danse macabre between Greece and its creditors continued last week, increasing the risk of default and capital controls. Greek citizens don't want to leave the euro and Germany does not want a Grexit, two positions which should eventually form the basis for an agreement.

2 November 2017 2017 The ECB Probably Should Lower its Inflation Target, but it Won't (Publication Centre)

Policymakers and macroeconomic forecasters at the ECB will be doing some soul-searching this week. GDP growth in the euro area accelerated to a punchy 2.5% year-over-year in Q3, and unemployment dipped to a cyclical low of 8.9%.

2 May 2018 Have Markets Priced in Today's Poor Q1 GDP Report in the EZ? (Publication Centre)

We previewed today's advance EZ Q1 GDP number in our Monitor on April 30--see here--and the data since have not changed our outlook.

2 June. 2016 Higher Inflation Soon Will Unsettle the ECB's Dovish Story (Publication Centre)

The ECB will not make any adjustments to its policy stance today. We think the central bank will keep its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.0% and -0.4%, respectively, and also that will maintain the pace of QE purchases at €80B a month. The updated macroeconomic projections likely will include a modest upgrade of this year's GDP forecast to 1.5%, from its 1.4% estimate in March.

20 January 2017 ECB: Sustained Stimulus is Needed to Safeguard the Economy (Publication Centre)

The ECB conformed to expectations today. The main refi rate was left unchanged at 0.00%, and the deposit and marginal lending facility rates also were unchanged, at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively. Similarly, the ECB stuck with the changes to QE made in December. Purchases of €80B per month will continue until March, after which the pace will be reduced to €60B per month and continue until December.

20 July 2017 Today's ECB Meeting Ought to be Snoozer, But Expect Volatility (Publication Centre)

The ECB is unlikely to make any changes to its policy stance today. We think the central bank will keep its refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and maintain the pace of QE at €60 per month until the end of the year. We also don't expect any substantial change in the language on forward guidance and QE.

21 Apr. 2016 All Eyes on the Details of QE and TLTROs in Today's ECB Meeting (Publication Centre)

The ECB will keep its refinancing and deposit rates unchanged today, at 0.0% and -0.4% respectively. We also think the pace of QE will be held at €80B per month. Attention will turn instead to the details and implementation of the measures unveiled last month. Corporate bonds will be added to QE at the end of the second quarter, and monthly purchases of about €5-to-€10B per month are a realistic assumption.

20 October.2016 The ECB Will Prepare Markets for QE Extension in December (Publication Centre)

We don't expect any major policy announcements at today's ECB meeting. We think the central bank will keep its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.0%, and we expect the deposit and marginal lending facility rates to remain at -0.4% and 0.25%, respectively.

20 June 2018 Monetary Policy Divergence Will Boost the EZ Current Account (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone's current account surplus slipped at the start of Q2, falling to €28.4B in April from an upwardly-revised €32.8B in March.

20 July. 2015 Cyclical Recovery, but Structural Relapse in the Italian Economy (Publication Centre)

The cyclical recovery in Italy likely strengthened in the second quarter. Real GDP rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, and we think the e conomy repeated, or even slightly, beat this number in Q2. This would mark the strongest performance in four years, but it will take more than a business cycle upturn to solve the Italian economy's structural challenges. Government and non-financial corporate debt has risen to 220% of GDP since 2008, and non-performing loans--NPLs--have sky rocketed.

2 Dec. 2015 Plunging German Unemployment Will Challenge the ECB Next Year (Publication Centre)

The labour market in the Eurozone continues slowly to improve. The unemployment rate fell to 10.7% in October from 10.8% in September, reaching its lowest level since 2013. The divergence in rates, however, between the major economies remains significant. Unemployment in France, Italy and Spain is still above 10%, but the advance German number continued their record-breaking form in November.

2 October 2017 Will the Real Eurozone Core CPI Measure Please Stand Up? (Publication Centre)

Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone added a dovish twist to the story ahead of the key ECB meeting later this month.

16 August 2017 As Good as it Gets for German GDP Growth in 2017? (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's Q2 GDP report in Germany was solid, but the headline disappointed slightly. GDP growth slowed to 0.6% quarter-on-quarter from an upwardly- revised 0.7% rise in Q1. The year-over-year rate, however, rose to 2.1% from a revised 2.0% in Q1.

15 November 2017 Full-Year GDP Growth in the EZ Will be Close to 2.5% in 2017 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's second batch of Q3 GDP data in the euro area provided further evidence of a strong and stable cyclical upturn in the economy.

15 March 2018 Focus on Rising German Core Inflation, Forget the Headline Dip (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's final CPI estimate in Germany confirmed that inflation fell to a 15-month low of 1.4% year-over-year in February, down from 1.6% in January.

19 March 2018 Don't Extrapolate Soft EZ Inflation Data, the Low for the Year is In (Publication Centre)

Friday's data confirmed that inflation in the Eurozone slipped to a 14-month low of 1.1%, from 1.3% in January, 0.1 percentage points below the first estimate.

16 January 2017 Inflation and EZ Bond Yields Will Increase Gradually in 2017 (Publication Centre)

Inflation in the Eurozone jumped in December, and will surge further in Q1 as base effects from last year's crash in oil prices push energy inflation higher. Higher inflation in the U.S. and surging Chinese factory gate prices indicate that this isn't just a Eurozone story.

15 June. 2016 Will Political Risk and Uncertainty Overwhelm the EZ Economy? (Publication Centre)

Based on key economic indicators, the Eurozone economy is doing splendidly, relative to its performance in recent years. Real GDP has been growing at 1.6%-to-1.7% year-over-year since the first quarter of last year, bank credit has expanded, and the unemployment rate is declining.

19 July 2018 EZ June Core Inflation Hit by Weak Services it will Rebound in July (Publication Centre)

Inflation pressures in the Eurozone have been building in recent months, but we think the headline is close to a peak for the year.

18 June 2018 Hope Springs Eternal for Higher Core Goods Inflation in the EZ (Publication Centre)

Friday's data in the Eurozone confirmed that inflation rose sharply last month. Headline inflation increased to 1.9%, from 1.2% in April, and core inflation also rose, by 0.4 percentage points to 1.1%.

18 January 2018 Will the ECB's Real Reaction Function Please Stand Up? (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone inflation data have been relatively calm in the past six months. The headline rate has been stable at about 1.5%, and the core rate has fluctuated closely around 1%.

17 Dec. 2015 Core Inflation Lags the Economy, and Will Increase Next Year (Publication Centre)

Eurozone inflation continued its slow rebound last month. Final CPI data showed that inflation rose marginally to 0.2% in November from 0.1% in October, a bit higher than the initial estimate of 0.1%. The upward revision was due to marginally higher services inflation at 1.2%, compared to the initial 1.1% estimate. Non-energy goods inflation eased slightly to 0.5% from 0.6% last month. We have received push-back on our call for higher inflation next year, but core inflation is a lagging indicator, and it can rise independently of the story told by GDP or survey data. Core inflation tends to peak during recessions, and only starts falling later as prices are adjusted downwards, with a lag, to the cyclical downturn.

3 July 2017 China's Industrial Complex still Strong in Q2, H2 in Draghi's Hands (Publication Centre)

We expect China's quarterly real GDP growth in the second quarter to edge down from Q1, but only because Q1 growth was unsustainable. The official data shows real GDP growth at 1.3% quarter-onquarter in Q1.

18 June. 2015 Slow Upturn in Private Investment Amid Weak End-Demand (Publication Centre)

Speaking in Brussels earlier this week, Mr. Draghi noted that the ECB is encouraged by signs that private investment is finally turning up, to complement strong consumption. It is too early to make that assumption, we think, but we agree with the president that the trend is moving slowly in the right direction.

17 Apr. 2015 Greece and its Eurozone creditors are teetering on the brink (Publication Centre)

The Eurosystem's position on Greece, echoed by Mr. Draghi earlier this week, is that progress on a deal is up to the Syriza-led government. But recent comments by German officials have added to the speculation that a Grexit is getting closer.

2 Feb. 2015 Will core inflation push the ECB to do even more QE this year? (Publication Centre)

The ECB moved ahead of the curve this month with its QE program of €60B per month, starting in March. But still-abysmal inflation data will prompt journalists to ask Mr. Draghi, at the next ECB meeting, about the conditions under which the central bank plans to do more.

16 July. 2015 The ECB Will be Put on the Spot for Its Role in the Greek Chaos (Publication Centre)

The ECB will keep its main interest rates and the pace of QE purchases unchanged today. Mr. Draghi will also reiterate the commitment to continuing QE until September next year, at least. But the press conference likely will focus on Greece, and the central bank's role in the chaos. Greek financial institutions are on the verge of collapse, partly because the ECB has been forced to cap emergency liquidity assistance--ELA--at €89B, and raise collateral haircut requirements following the announcement of the referendum.

4 Dec. 2014 The ECB Doves are In Control - Can They Make Their Influence Count? (Publication Centre)

The dovish message from the ECB going into today's final meeting of the year has intensified. Mr. Draghi's comments last month, at the European Banking Congress in Frankfurt, point to an increased worry on low core inflation.

6 Jan. 2015 Weak German CPI = December Deflation in The Eurozone (Publication Centre)

Advance inflation data from Germany and Spain indicate that the Eurozone slipped into deflation last month, piling maximum pressure on Mr. Draghi later this month. Inflation in the euro area's largest economy fell to 0.2% year-over-year in December from 0.6% in November, driven by a 6.6% plunge in the energy component.

27 Jan. 2016 The Curious Case of Missing Equity Earnings in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

Eurozone investors continue to look to the ECB as the main reason to justify a constructive stance on the equity market. Last week, the central bank all but promised additional easing in March, but the soothing words by Mr. Draghi have, so far, given only a limited lift to equities. Easy monetary policy has partly been offset by external risks, in the form of fears over slow growth in China, and the risk of low oil prices sparking a wave of corporate defaults. But uncertainty over earnings is another story we frequently hear from disappointed equity investors. We continue to think that QE and ZIRP offer powerful support for equity valuations in the Eurozone, but weak earnings are a key missing link in the story.

26 Jan. 2016 IFO Points to Slow Start to Q1 for the German Economy (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's IFO report reinforced the message from the PMIs that the Eurozone economy stumbled slightly at the beginning of the first quarter. The headline business climate index fell to an 11-month low of 107.3 in January, from a revised 108.6 in December, hit mainly by a drop in the expectations component. Intensified market volatility and worries over further weakness in the Chinese economy likely were the main drivers. Last week's dovish message from Mr. Draghi, however, came after the survey's cut-off date, leaving us cautiously optimistic for a rebound next month.

22 Sept. 2015 Moody's Fires a Shot Across the Bow on French Sovereign Debt (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's pledge in 2012 to do "whatever it takes to preserve the euro," and QE have stymied sovereign debt risk in the euro area. At the same time, the EU's relaxed position over debt sustainability was highlighted earlier this year by the Commission's decision to give France two more years to get its deficit below 3% of GDP. But Moody's downgrade of the French government bond rating last week to Aa2 from Aa1 serves as a gentle reminder to investors of the underlying fundamentals.

Consistently Right

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