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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

October 24, 2019
MONETARY POLICY: EURO AREA

At today’s meeting, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that policy interest rates were unchanged with the deposit facility, main refinancing operations and the marginal lending facility rates remaining at -0.50%, 0.00% and 0.25%, respectively. Rates are expected to remain at their present levels or lower until ECB’s inflation outlook converges sufficiently close to 2 per cent.

It was previously announced (September) that net purchases will be restarted under the Asset Purchase Programme (APP) at a monthly pace of €20 billion starting in November. Under the APP, private and public sector securities are purchased to address the risks of prolonged periods of low inflation over the medium term. Net purchases are expected to run for as long as necessary to reinforce the impact of policy rates, and to end shortly before the ECB raises key interest rates. Reinvestment of the principal payments from maturing securities will continue alongside future rate increases, to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and continued monetary support.

Euro Area real GDP grew 0.2 per cent in Q2 2019 after 0.4 per cent in Q1 2019. Economic data points to continued moderate growth for 2019. The slowdown in growth reflects weakness in international trade weighing on euro area manufacturing and dampening investment growth. Services and construction activity remains resilient. The economic expansion is supported by favourable financing conditions, employment gains, rising wages, and a mildly expansionary euro area fiscal stance.

Euro area inflation fell from 1.0 per cent in August to 0.8 per cent in September, reflecting lower food and energy price inflation. Underlying inflation remained muted and inflation expectations are at low levels. Labour cost pressures have strengthened amid tighter labour markets, but weaker growth momentum has delayed inflation pass-through.

 

 

 

Sources:

European Central Bank



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