ECB Points to Further Stimulus at December Meeting


ECB policymakers agreed on the need to execute its asset purchases in line with its past decisions and to adopt further measures, if needed, to support the Eurozone's recovery and bring inflation back to target, minutes from ECB's November meeting showed. ECB officials also agreed that in December they would be in a better position to form a firmer view on the inflation outlook, as they would have access to the latest incoming data, the new Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections and the results of the work of the Eurosystem committees on the options to ensure the smooth implementation of the APP until March 2017, or beyond, if necessary.

There was wide agreement among members that it was premature to make a firm assessment of the outlook for price stability and to discuss its implications for the monetary policy stance at the current meeting. While the recovery of the euro area economy appeared to be on track, underlying inflation still lacked a convincing upward trend and the scenario for growth and inflation continued to be predicated on the prevailing very favourable financing conditions, which to a large extent reflected the current accommodative monetary policy stance. In this context, it was recalled that patience continued to be warranted as the full effects of the monetary policy measures were still unfolding, given the transmission lags with which policy was feeding through to the ultimate objective, and which, in the wake of private and public sector balance sheet adjustments, were likely to be longer than usual.

Members widely agreed that in December the Governing Council would be in a better position to form a firmer view on the inflation outlook and the progress being made in achieving a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, with a view to considering the appropriate implications for the monetary policy stance. In December the Governing Council would have the benefit of the latest incoming data, the new Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections extending through to 2019 and the results of the work of the Eurosystem committees on the options to ensure the smooth implementation of the APP until March 2017, or beyond, if necessary.

The view was widely shared among members that a discussion on the changes to the technical parameters of the APP should not be separate from an assessment of the medium-term inflation outlook and the implications this might have for the appropriate monetary policy stance. The questions of how to ensure the smooth implementation of the APP until March 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and how to preserve the very substantial monetary support that was necessary in order to secure a return of inflation rates towards levels below, but close to, 2% were seen to be closely linked. Members took note of the ongoing technical work of the committees that was designed to ensure a smooth execution of the programme until March 2017, or beyond, if necessary.

All in all, members widely shared the view that it was imperative to remain fully committed to preserving the very substantial degree of monetary accommodation that was necessary to secure a sustained convergence of inflation towards levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term. Financing conditions had to remain supportive to underpin the recovery in growth and inflation, also in the face of weak underlying price pressures and prevailing uncertainties. The Governing Council had to remain fully determined to execute its asset purchases in line with its past decisions and to adopt further measures, if needed, to put inflation back on a sustainable path towards levels compatible with its inflation aim.

ECB | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
11/17/2016 1:14:02 PM