ECB president Trichet said there is no risk of deflation, adding that the Euro-Zone is experiencing disinflation, not deflation, even though disinflation can lead to temporary negative inflation. He repeated last week's comments that the risks to growth are on the downside, while the risks to price stability in the medium term are broadly balanced. Trichet said government measures should support confidence, and stressed that it is important to maintain discipline and a medium-term perspective. Nothing really new from last week with comments indicating that the central bank is admitting that growth is much lower than expected, but so far dismissing any risk of broad based deflation. Earlier executive board member Stark argued against aggressive monetary easing and Nowotny repeated that there are no plans to cut rates to zero and all in all comments confirm that the ECB currently sees limited room for further easing, even though rates are likely to fall below 2%. We see the bottom currently at 1.50%, but a refi rate of 1.0% is far from unlikely if confidence indicators don't stabilize in coming months.
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