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Global central banks unite in "higher for longer" credo
  + stars: | 2023-09-21 | by ( Mark John | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +6 min
The so-called "higher for longer" mantra is now the official stance of the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of England, as well as being echoed by monetary policy-makers from Oslo to Tapei. U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers had a similar message on Wednesday. Turkey's central bank confirmed its hawkish turn while in Asia, Taiwan's central bank flagged continued tight policy. Reuters Graphics"TIPPING POINT"Belgian central bank chief and ECB board member Pierre Wunsch - an early voice urging tougher central bank action to counter inflation from end-2021 - said on Thursday that monetary policy was now at the right level. That said, the prospect that global interest rates are pretty close to peak will be of huge relief to emerging economies suffering from heavy debt servicing loads.
Persons: Jerome Powell, Christine Lagarde, Kazuo Ueda, Ann, BoE, Andrew Bailey, Pierre Wunsch, Wunsch, COVID lockdowns, Jerome, Powell, Krishna Guha, Howard Schneider, Balazs Koranyi, Catherine Evans Organizations: European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Kansas City Federal, REUTERS, U.S . Federal Reserve, Bank of England, U.S . Federal, Swiss National Bank, South African Reserve Bank, People's Bank of, Reuters, ECB, Reuters Global Markets, Economics, Sterling, Swiss, United, Thomson Locations: Jackson Hole , Wyoming, U.S, Central, Oslo, Tapei, Europe, Norway, Sweden, Asia, People's Bank of China, Belgian, United States, Ukraine, Washington, Frankfurt, London, Stockholm, Zurich, Ankara
The new German central bank (Bundesbank) vice-president Claudia Buch poses during a photocall at the Bundesbank headquarters in Frankfurt, May 20, 2014. Buch, who has been the vice-president of Germany's central bank for 10 years after a career in academia, was chosen last week over Spain's Margarita Delgado, the European Parliament's preferred candidate. The EU Parliament will have a final say on the appointment on Wednesday at a vote scheduled for 1400 GMT. At the hearing, Buch said she would immediately resign from her role as an alternate if appointed as chief supervisor. ECB President Christine Lagarde said last week that the 26-member Governing Council followed the rules in Buch's selection.
Persons: Claudia Buch, Ralph Orlowski, Buch, Spain's Margarita Delgado, Joachim Nagel, Christine Lagarde, Marco Zanni, Frank Siebelt, Hugh Lawson, Alexandra Hudson Organizations: REUTERS, Central, Single, EU, ECB, Reuters, Council, Democracy Group, Alexandra Hudson Our, Thomson Locations: Frankfurt, FRANKFURT, Spain
A view shows the placards of the political parties in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) building in Frankfurt, Germany, September 14, 2023. The central bank for the 20 countries that use the euro has already raised interest rates 10 times to record levels but inflation remains well above its 2% target. ECB President Christine Lagarde said last week that policymakers had not discussed the bond-buying schemes at their latest policy meeting. She described the PEPP as the ECB's "first line of defence" to preserve policy transmission - central bank jargon for bond market stability in the most indebted countries. Slovenian central bank governor Bostjan Vasle recently backed selling bonds bought under the ECB's older Asset Purchase Programme, which is less flexible than the PEPP.
Persons: Wolfgang Rattay, Christine Lagarde, Bostjan Vasle, Peter Kazimir, Catherine Evans Organizations: European Central Bank, REUTERS, Central Bank, Reuters, ECB, Thomson Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, Italy, FRANKFURT, Athens, Slovenian, PEPP, Sintra
German economy to shrink in Q3: Bundesbank
  + stars: | 2023-09-18 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
[1/3] A steel worker of ThyssenKrupp walks in front of a blast furnace at a ThyssenKrupp steel factory in Duisburg, western Germany, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsFRANKFURT, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The German economy is likely to shrink this quarter as industry is in recession and private consumption is adding little to growth, the Bundesbank said in a monthly economic report on Monday. "Despite the somewhat slowing pace of price increases, strong wage increases and the good labour market, private households are still holding back on spending," the central bank said. This rise in financing costs will also weigh on growth, the Bundesbank said, as will the declining order intake for the country's vital and vast industrial sector. "The low and continued decline in incoming orders, and the declining order backlog are increasingly having an impact on industrial production," the central bank said.
Persons: Wolfgang Rattay, Balazs Koranyi, Toby Chopra Organizations: REUTERS, Rights, European Central Bank, Thomson Locations: Duisburg, Germany, China
European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde speaks to the media following the Governing Council's monetary policy meeting at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, July 27, 2023. Lagarde stigmatised the leak at the start of the two-day meeting, a criticism that was echoed by several colleagues. But as borrowing costs were pushed higher, more policymakers expressed reservations about further hikes, the sources said. Lagarde has spared no effort in trying to woo her colleagues. In return, she asked for governors to stop trashing policy decisions once taken, keep internal disputes out of the media and put their phones away while colleagues were speaking.
Persons: Christine Lagarde, Kai Pfaffenbach, Mario Draghi, Claudia Buch, Andrea Enria, Lagarde's, Lagarde, Weeks, Draghi, Francesco Canepa, Mike Harrison Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, REUTERS, SANTIAGO DE, Central Bank, Reuters, Governing Council, Single, Thomson Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, FRANKFURT, SANTIAGO, SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Draghi
ECB's Lagarde defends bank supervisor pick after pushback
  + stars: | 2023-09-15 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELLA, Sept 15 (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde defended on Friday the bank's pick to head its bank supervision arm, despite the European Parliament's preference for a rival candidate to oversee a 26 trillion euro banking sector. Lagarde said that the 26-member Governing Council, who selected Buch, took the committee's opinion into account but noted that the committee had no veto but merely an opportunity to formulate an opinion. Once that opinion was received, policymakers followed the letter of the law in the selection process, Lagarde added. The key point of contention is that Buch has relatively limited experience in bank supervision, having joined the ECB's Supervisory Board only this year, while Delgado has spent decades in the field. Buch must now go back to the same committee for a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for 0800 GMT on Wednesday.
Persons: SANTIAGO, Christine Lagarde, Claudia Buch, Margarita Delgado, Buch, Lagarde, Delgado, Jan Strupczewski, Balazs Koranyi, Chizu Organizations: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELLA, Central Bank, ECB, Bank of Spain, Economic, Monetary Affairs, ECB's, Thomson Locations: Bank
"The inflation momentum is simply too strong for the ECB to pause," Danske Bank economist Piet Haines Christiansen said. In contrast, markets have fully priced in unchanged rates at next week's meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which started raising rates earlier and has moved higher than the ECB. "We doubt that this will be possible and expect that a decision to hold rates steady today would mark the end of the tightening cycle." The euro zone's biggest economy, Germany, is bearing the brunt of an industrial slump and heading for recession, according to several forecasts. ECB President Christine Lagarde will hold a news conference at 1245 GMT.
Persons: Piet Haines Christiansen, Dirk Schumacher, Christine Lagarde, Catherine Evans Organizations: ECB, European Central Bank, Reuters, Danske Bank, U.S . Federal Reserve, Services, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT, Germany
FRANKFURT, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank cut its growth projections for the next two years while lifting some of its inflation forecasts, raising the spectre of stagflation, a period when the economy suffers a double whammy of no growth and high inflation. Underlying inflation was also expected to remain above target with the 2024 reading seen at 2.9% and 2025 at 2.2%. That prompted the ECB to raise interest rates for the 10th straight time on Thursday, concerned that high inflation may be a bigger risk to the economy than economic stagnation. The growth outlook has meanwhile continued to sour and the ECB now sees a 2023 expansion of just 0.7% after predicting 0.9% three months ago. The following are the ECB's projections for inflation and economic growth.
Persons: Balazs Koranyi, Catherine Evans Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT
The central bank for the 20 countries that share the euro faces a dilemma. "The inflation momentum is simply too strong for the ECB to pause," Danske Bank economist Piet Haines Christiansen said. Just 14 months ago, that rate was languishing at a record low of minus 0.5%, meaning banks had to pay to park their cash securely at the central bank. The euro zone's biggest economy, Germany, is bearing the brunt of an industrial slump and heading for recession, according to several forecasts. On Thursday, the ECB is also expected to cuts its growth projections for this year and next, leading some economists to argue it should hold off from raising rates this month.
Persons: Piet Haines Christiansen, Dirk Schumacher, Catherine Evans Organizations: ECB, European Central Bank, Reuters, Danske Bank, Services, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT, Germany
The ECB's quarterly projections, set to be to presented to its Governing Council on Wednesday, will put inflation north of 3% in 2024, the source said, confounding expectations for a small cut. The updated 2024 projection is well above the central bank's 2% target and will be higher than the 3% forecast in June. The source said the rate decision was still a close call and formal proposals for the meeting have not yet been presented. But both headline and underlying inflation remain above 5%, raising the risk that workers will start demanding bigger pay increases, especially because the labour market remains exceptionally tight. Growth on the other hand will be downgraded for this year and 2024, roughly in line with market expectations, the source said.
Persons: Balazs Koranyi, Paul Simao Organizations: European Central Bank, Reuters, ECB, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT
The ECB has raised rates at its fastest pace on record in the past year, taking them to a more than two-decade high. "We still do not expect the Governing Council to raise key rates further at its September meeting." "The latest inflation figures raise the probability of a new increase in interest rates in September," Diego Iscaro at S&P Global Market Intelligence said. "However, this is far from a done deal, and a rapidly deteriorating economic background will still give doves in the ECB's Governing Council plenty of ammunition to argue for a pause." "This decline could counteract our efforts to bring inflation back to target in a timely manner."
Persons: Eric Gaillard, Robert Holzmann, Holzmann, Christoph Weil, Diego Iscaro, Isabel Schnabel, Schnabel, Balazs Koranyi, Catherine Evans Organizations: REUTERS, Rights, Central Bank, ECB, Reuters Global Markets, P Global Market Intelligence, Thomson Locations: Nice, France, Austria's, ECB's, Frankfurt
The ECB is debating whether to raise rates again in September to combat stubborn underlying price growth or pause given the weakening outlook that is now raising recession fears. "We need to be very cautious about our decisions, because a lot has been done," Centeno told the Reuters Global Markets Forum. "The labour market in Europe is performing in a novel way... I see a degree of flexibility in the European labour market that we were not used to see in the past," Centeno said. "This will ease wage pressures in our labour market, contrary to what we have [been used to] in the past."
Persons: Mario Centeno, Pedro Nunes, Centeno, Mehnaz Yasmin, Balazs Koranyi, Alison Williams, Mike Harrison Organizations: Bank of Portugal, European Central Bank, Bank of, REUTERS, Rights, ECB, Reuters Global Markets, Thomson Locations: Bank of Portugal, Carregado, Alenquer, Portugal, Europe
"The economy is a global economy, right? Yet Fed officials remain puzzled, and somewhat concerned, over conflicting signals in the incoming data. But gross domestic product is still expanding at a pace well above what Fed officials regard as the non-inflationary growth rate of around 1.8%. Difficulties in China, meanwhile, may drag down global growth the longer they fester. Its slowdown after a short-lived growth burst earlier this year could pinch Germany's exports and slow Europe's growth, for instance.
Persons: Jerome Powell, Christine Lagarde, Kazuo Ueda, Ann Saphir, JACKSON, Jackson, Pierre, Olivier Gourinchas, Loretta Mester, Mester, Lagarde, Biden, Nathan Sheets, Powell, Gourinchas, Howard Schneider, Dan Burns, Andrea Ricci Organizations: European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Kansas City Federal, REUTERS, Federal, U.S, Monetary Fund, Cleveland Fed, Reuters, Citigroup, Consumer, Thomson Locations: Jackson Hole , Wyoming, U.S, , Wyoming, Brazil, Chile, China, Ukraine
ECB rate pause now may be too early: policymaker
  + stars: | 2023-08-26 | by ( Balazs Koranyi | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +3 min
JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming, Aug 26 (Reuters) - It may be too early for the European Central Bank to pause interest rate hikes now as an early stop in the fight against inflation could force the bank to exert even more pain on the economy later, Latvian policymaker Martins Kazaks said on Saturday. The ECB has raised rates at each of its past nine meetings to arrest runaway inflation but policymakers are now contemplating a pause as recession risks loom, inflation slows and wage growth remains moderate. ECB projections currently see inflation returning to its 2% target only in late 2025 and Kazaks argued this was too late. Once rates peak, a plateau should be held for some time and the ECB should only start cutting rates when projections start showing inflation was at risk of coming back below 2%. Markets see a rate cut only in the second half of 2024 and Kazaks said he did not consider this inconsistent with the macroeconomic outlook.
Persons: JACKSON, Martins Kazaks, Kazaks, Balazs Koranyi, Marguerita Choy Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, Reuters, Industry, Thomson Locations: , Wyoming, Latvian, Jackson Hole , Wyoming
"The number of voices advocating a pause is multiplying as the data roll in," said one of the sources, who asked not to be named. Several of the sources said they saw chances evenly split between a hike and a pause, while a smaller number saw a pause as more likely. But none said they saw a hike as the most likely outcome, even if that was their preference. That marks a distinct shift from six weeks ago when a hike was still seen as most likely in September. Arguments for a pause centre on growing recession fears, the rapid deterioration of China's growth outlook, benign wage growth readings and arguments that past ECB hikes are increasingly working their way through the economy.
Persons: Wolfgang Rattay, JACKSON, Jackson, Balazs Koranyi, Mark John, Catherine Evans Organizations: European Central Bank, REUTERS, Central Bank, ECB, U.S, U.S . Federal, Employment, Thomson Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, , Wyoming, Europe, U.S .
FILE PHOTO-European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde speaks to the media following the Governing Council's monetary policy meeting at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, July 27, 2023. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsJACKSON HOLE, Wyoming, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Profound changes in how the global economy operates, from increased protectionism to energy transition, could create greater inflation volatility and more persistent price pressures, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Friday. Higher investment needs and greater supply constraints are likely to lead to stronger price pressures and not all sectors will be able to absorb these, she warned. "We will have to be extremely attentive that greater volatility in relative prices does not creep into medium-term inflation through wages repeatedly “chasing” prices," Lagarde said. "That could make inflation more persistent if expected wage increases are then incorporated into the pricing decisions of firms, giving rise to what I have called 'tit-for-tat' inflation."
Persons: Christine Lagarde, Kai Pfaffenbach, JACKSON, Lagarde, Balazs Koranyi, Dan Burns, Andrea Ricci Organizations: Central Bank, ECB, REUTERS, European Central Bank, U.S . Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Thomson Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, , Wyoming, Jackson Hole , Wyoming
"It may just be lucky that a global demand slump or non-policy related domestic forces are driving inflation lower." This disconnect led the German central bank to issue a warning to peers this week that a tough task may still lie ahead for policymakers. "The impression took hold that inflation rates will nonetheless persist for longer above the rates targeted by central banks," the Bundesbank said. Indeed, longer-term inflation expectations for the U.S. and the euro zone remain above the banks' 2% targets. But even in the best case, weaker growth will reduce demand for imports and complicate the global outlook.
Persons: JACKSON, Steve Englander, Piet Haines Christiansen, Philip Lane, Lane, Niels Graham, Julian Evans, Pritchard, Balazs Koranyi, Dan Burns, Toby Chopra Organizations: Standard Chartered, The Bank of England, ECB, Reserve Bank of Australia, Reserve Bank of New, Danske Bank, U.S, People's Bank of, Atlantic Council, Capital Economic, Thomson Locations: , Wyoming, Jackson Hole , Wyoming, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, German, Europe, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Jackson, People's Bank of China, China
Euro zone current account surplus surges in June
  + stars: | 2023-08-22 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: 1 min
FRANKFURT, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The euro zone's current account surplus surged in June on higher goods exports and lower imports, European Central Bank data showed on Tuesday. Based on adjusted data, the 20-nation recorded a surplus of 35.8 billion euros after 7.9 billion a month earlier while unadjusted data showed a surplus of 36.8 billion euros after a 12.5 billion euro deficit. In the 12 months to June, the bloc's current account showed a deficit of 0.1% of GDP after a surplus of 1.0% in the previous 12 months. Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Alison WilliamsOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Balazs Koranyi, Alison Williams Organizations: FRANKFURT, European Central Bank, Thomson
Companies Eurostat FollowFRANKFURT, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Euro zone inflation slower further and even underlying price pressures appear to have peaked, Eurostat data showed on Friday, easing pressure on the European Central Bank to keep raising rates after its fastest rate-hike cycle on record. Consumer prices increased by 5.3% in July versus 5.5% in June, extending a downtrend that started last autumn. Meanwhile price growth excluding food and energy, the underlying measure closely watched by the ECB, was flat at 5.5%, Eurostat said, confirming preliminary figures. Underlying price pressures are still strong and the labour market is unusually tight, suggesting that wage pressures will persist as workers enjoy superb bargaining power. But economic growth is stagnating, investment is falling and overall consumption is flat, at best, suggesting that price pressures should ease as the economy suffers.
Persons: Balazs Koranyi, Sharon Singleton Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, Eurostat, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT, disinflation
ECB survey points to stickier underlying inflation
  + stars: | 2023-07-28 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
FRANKFURT, July 28 (Reuters) - Core inflation in the euro zone will come down more slowly than previously thought as wage growth is seen picking up in a tight labour market, a European Central Bank survey showed on Friday. The latest Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) was presented to ECB policymakers this week as they decided to raise interest rates for a ninth consecutive time but also signal that the next step was still undecided and a pause was on the cards. "Respondents indicated that the upward revisions reflected recent data outturns showing more persistence than expected as well as higher forecast wage growth," the ECB said. Forecasts for the unemployment rate were revised down for this year and the next -- to 6.6% and 6.7% respectively -- despite slightly lower growth expectations for 2024 and 2025. Reporting By Francesco Canepa; editing by Balazs KoranyiOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Francesco Canepa, Balazs Koranyi Organizations: European Central Bank, Professional, ECB, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT
This will leave investors guessing whether another rate hike is coming or if July marks the end of the ECB's fastest-ever tightening spree. "The Governing Council will continue to follow a data-dependent approach to determining the appropriate level and duration of restriction," the ECB added. While markets had fully priced in another rate hike just a few weeks ago, a growing number of investors are betting that Thursday's move will be the last. More tightening would however be consistent with comments from a host of policymakers, including ECB board member Isabel Schnabel, that raising rates too far would still be less costly than not lifting them high enough. This is a key reason why the balance of expectations has started to shift away from another rate hike, with economists increasingly focusing on how long rates will stay high.
Persons: Isabel Schnabel, Jerome Powell, Christine Lagarde, Catherine Evans Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, U.S . Federal Reserve, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT
[1/2] European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde speaks to the media following the Governing Council's monetary policy meeting at ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, July 27, 2023. The Bank of England is expected to raise rates again next week following similar positive inflation news. Meanwhile on Friday, the Bank of Japan opened the debate on plans to bring its ultra-loose policies to an end. The Fed's benchmark overnight interest rate now stands in the 5.25%-5.50% range, while the ECB's main rate is 3.75%. While bond markets took a cue from the faster growth, and pushed yields on Treasuries higher, the days of coordinated global tightening may be numbered.
Persons: Christine Lagarde, Kai Pfaffenbach, Jerome Powell, Powell, Lagarde, Krishna Guha, Howard Schneider, Francesco Canepa, Balazs Koranyi, Leika, Dan Burns, Paul Simao Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, REUTERS, WASHINGTON, U.S . Federal Reserve, The Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Reuters, U.S, Graphics, Thomson Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, FRANKFURT, TOKYO, Europe, United States, Graphics New, Tokyo
The ECB raised interest rates for the ninth consecutive time on Thursday in its year-long effort to bring down inflation. It also decided to stop remunerating banks' minimum reserves to contain the amount it pays in interest and the losses it is likely to make. The ECB is currently remunerating lenders' mandatory reserves in the same way as their deposits, which are reserves held above the minimum. On Thursday it increased the deposit rate to 3.75%, in a widely expected decision, while cutting to zero the rate on minimum reserves. "Since then, the efficiency aspect has risen in relevance, in line with the higher level of the key ECB interest rates," it said.
Persons: Arne Petimezas, Petimezas, Francesco Canepa, Balazs Koranyi, Valentina Za, Christina Fincher, Catherine Evans Organizations: Central Bank, Reuters, ECB, AFS Group, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT, Amsterdam
That will leave investors guessing whether another rate hike is coming in September or if July marks the end of the ECB's fastest-ever tightening spree. While markets had fully priced in another rate hike just a few weeks ago, investors are now split, with many expecting July's move to be the last. "We see a 60% probability that the ECB will hike again by a final 25bp on 14 September," Berenberg's Salomon Fiedler said. "Softer data such as the drop in the Eurozone composite PMI indicate a rising chance that the central bank will stay put in September already." This is a key reason why the balance of expectations has started to shift away from another rate hike, with economists increasingly focusing on how long rates will stay high.
Persons: July's, Berenberg's Salomon Fiedler, Isabel Schnabel, Jerome Powell, Anatoli Annenkov, Christine Lagarde, Commerzbank's Marco Wagner, Catherine Evans Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, PMI, U.S . Federal Reserve, Thomson Locations: FRANKFURT
Inflation up in German states, pointing to national rise
  + stars: | 2023-06-29 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
BERLIN, June 29 (Reuters) - Inflation rose in five economically important German states in the month of June, preliminary data showed on Thursday, suggesting a bumpy road ahead for German inflation. In May, inflation rates for those five states, out of 16 in Germany, stood at between 5.7% and 6.6%. National inflation data will be published at 1200 GMT, with economists surveyed by Reuters forecasting a 6.3% year-on-year rise, up from 6.1% in the previous month. June inflation data for the bloc is due on Friday. As a consequence, German inflation dipped in June 2022.
Persons: Maria Martinez, Balazs Koranyi, Friederike Heine, Toby Chopra Organizations: Reuters, European Central Bank, ECB, Thomson Locations: BERLIN, North, Rhine Westphalia, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Baden, Wuerttemberg, Germany
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