Wednesday 18 September 2019

ECB chiefs upbeat despite eurozone 'fragilities'

Meeting: Incoming data to the ECB was ‘weaker than expected’
Meeting: Incoming data to the ECB was ‘weaker than expected’

Carolynn Look

EUROPEAN Central Bank officials acknowledged "uncertainties and fragilities" affecting the economy at their latest policy meeting - but agreed they weren't enough to weaken confidence that the eurozone's domestic strength will prevail.

"It needed to be emphasised that the incoming data, while somewhat weaker than expected, remained overall consistent with an ongoing broad-based expansion," the ECB said in the record of its October 24 and October 25 policy meeting published yesterday. New forecasts in December - which will include an outlook for 2021 - "would provide an occasion for a more in-depth assessment", it added.

Publication of the minutes comes three weeks before the ECB holds its final policy meeting of the year, when it's expected to confirm a new cap on its bond-buying programme, a key step toward normalising its policy. The latest minutes show officials agreed that "continuity and steadiness with respect to monetary policy were particularly warranted in an environment that was still subject to a number of uncertainties and fragilities".

There was no remark recorded on the possibility of offering a new round of cheap funding to banks. ECB chief Mario Draghi had mentioned during his press conference that this was brought up.


Irish Independent

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