7 Mar 2024

As expected, the ECB lefts rates unchanged.

The European Central Bank approach continues to follow a data-dependent approach in determining rate path. THE STATEMENT • Inflation forecasts by ECB staff have been lowered, especially for 2024, largely due to reduced energy price pressures. Inflation is now expected to average 2.3% in 2024 and to stabilize around 2.0% in the following years; core inflation projections also revised downwards. They nevertheless say that domestic price pressures remain high, partly due to wages. They say that domestic price pressures remain high, partly due to wages. • Growth projections for 2024 have been downgraded to 0.6%, with a gradual recovery anticipated, leading to 1.5% growth in 2025 and 1.6% in 2026. • The ECB believes current interest rates, if maintained, will significantly contribute to reducing inflation and has committed to keeping rates at restrictive levels as needed. MARKET REACTION • EUR/USD is weaker on the news (to 1.0875) and EUR rates extend their move lower (they were already down every day this week, and prior to the ECB announcement). German 10y is down -7bp to 2.25% at the time we write • Rate cuts expectations are slightly increased for this year, but not massively so far (still four 25bp rate cuts by the end of the year when rounding the probabilities) OUR TAKE • Overall, this is a rather dovish statement for now - let see if Lagarde press conference will reinforces the dovish reading or if she counterbalances the message from the downward revisions on growth in inflation. Source: chart: Bloomberg


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