ECB still on course to normalize policy despite more muted growth outlook
At today’s Governing Council meeting, the ECB left the refi rate at zero and the deposit rate at -0.4%. The statement that QE will end in December and that the key rates will not be altered at least through summer 2019 was maintained.
- As expected, key rates remained unchanged; the ECB committed itself to leave them at the present level for at least through the summer of 2019 while confirming that QE will end in December 2018.
- While acknowledging that the growth momentum weakened, the growth risks remain still balanced in the eyes of the ECB.
- The ECB’s base case is an orderly Brexit and a solution of the conflict between Italy and the EC.
- The post-QE reinvestment policy was again not discussed.
- We continue to expect a first (depo) rate hike in September 2019.
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MUTED GROWTH OUTLOOK