Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Silver Notches Best Month Since 1979 - 12th Aug 20
Silver Shorts Get Squeezed Hard… What’s Next? - 12th Aug 20
A Tale of Two Precious Metal Bulls - 12th Aug 20
Stock Market Melt-Up Continues While Precious Metals Warn of Risks - 12th Aug 20
How Does the Gold Fit the Corona World? - 12th Aug 20
3 (free) ways to ride next big wave in EURUSD, USDJPY, gold, silver and more - 12th Aug 20
A Simple Way to Preserve Your Wealth Amid Uncertainty - 11th Aug 20
Precious Metals Complex Impulse Move : Where Is next Resistance? - 11th Aug 20
Gold Miners Junior Stcks Buying Spree - 11th Aug 20
Has the Fed Let the Inflation Genie Out of the Bottle? - 10th Aug 20
The Strange Food Trend That’s Making Investors Rich - 10th Aug 20
Supply & Demand For Money – The End of Inflation? - 10th Aug 20
Revisiting Our Silver and Gold Predictions – Get Ready For Higher Prices - 10th Aug 20
Storm Clouds Are Gathering for a Major Stock and Commodity Markets Downturn - 10th Aug 20
A 90-Year-Old Stock Market Investment Insight That's Relevant in 2020 - 10th Aug 20
Debt and Dollar Collapse Leading to Potential Stock Market Melt-Up, - 10th Aug 20
Coronavirus: UK Parents Demand ALL Schools OPEN September, 7 Million Children Abandoned by Teachers - 9th Aug 20
Computer GPU Fans Not Spinning Quick FIX - Sticky Fans Solution - 9th Aug 20
Find the Best Speech Converter for You - 9th Aug 20
Silver Bull Market Update - 7th Aug 20
This Inflation-Adjusted Silver Chart Tells An Interesting Story - 7th Aug 20
The Great American Housing Boom Has Begun - 7th Aug 20
NATURAL GAS BEGINS UPSIDE BREAKOUT MOVE - 7th Aug 20
Know About Lotteries With The Best Odds Of Winning - 7th Aug 20
Could Gold Price Reach $7,000 by 2030? - 6th Aug 20
Bananas for All! Keep Dancing… FOMC - 6th Aug 20
How to Do Bets During This Time - 6th Aug 20
How to develop your stock trading strategy - 6th Aug 20
Stock Investors What to do if Trump Bans TikTok - 5th Aug 20
Gold Trifecta of Key Signals for Gold Mining Stocks - 5th Aug 20
ARE YOU LOVING YOUR SERVITUDE? - 5th Aug 20
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

ECB Signals Hawkish Tone on European Interest Rates as Inflation Soar

Interest-Rates / Euro-Zone Jun 09, 2008 - 04:08 PM GMT

By: Victoria_Marklew

Interest-Rates Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAs expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) left its refi rate at 4.0% again last Thursday. What was not expected was the hawkish tone of the subsequent statement and the press briefing from President Trichet. He noted that the Governing Council had a "deep discussion" (trans: "fierce debate"?) and remains "in a state of heightened alertness." Some members apparently wanted a rate hike this month but the consensus was to hold. The President then noted that the Council may decide to make "a small hike" at the July 3 meeting in order to anchor inflation expectations.


The statement emphasized that risks to prices remain clearly on the upside and have increased further. And, Trichet reiterated that the bank's mandate is to ensure medium-term price stability, which means firmly anchoring inflation expectations. The euro promptly firmed anew.

Thursday's policy meeting took place against the backdrop of the ECB's ten year anniversary. Back on June 1, 1998, annual inflation in the eleven countries joining the Euro-zone was running at just 1.4%, a barrel of Brent crude cost $15.60, and 3-month Euribor stood at 3.575%. While the 2000-2001 period brought a spike in inflation and market rates, the rest of the decade was fairly predictable policy-wise as price increases moved pretty much hand-in-hand with growth.

Chart 1

Thursday's ECB faces a much more challenging world. Inflation is rising, the interbank market is still struggling, and the macroeconomic impacts of the US slowdown and global financial turmoil are now coming home to roost. Inflation in the 15-member 'zone climbed to 3.6% in May, Brent crude stands at $128pb, and 3-month Euribor hit 4.864%, the highest so far this year. On the plus side, ECB policy-making has clarity, coherence, and credibility, all of which were sorely lacking a decade ago.

The ECB and its President apparently have decided that their best course is to stick firmly to the bank's mandate of maintaining price stability. Trichet himself set the tone at a speech this past weekend, when he warned that bad management of the oil crisis back in the 1970s (large wage rises and low interest rates) seriously hurt the economy. He concluded by warning that the errors of the past must not be repeated.

As noted, Euro-zone headline inflation jumped to 3.6% in May. The pace of M3 money supply growth (something the Council is known to watch closely), which appeared to be on a downward trend in recent months, nudged back up to 10.6% in April from 10.1% in March. As Trichet pointed out, while this probably overstates the underlying pace of monetary expansion thanks to financial market upheavals, the underlying rate of money and credit growth remains strong.

Chart 2

Add in better-than-expected GDP growth in Q1 - up 0.8% on the quarter and 2.2% on the year - and the case for a July rate hike looks clear. Except, of course, that forward-looking data point to much slower growth for the 'zone as a whole in Q2, while the outlook for some countries is downright gloomy.

Retail sales across the 15 'zone countries fell 0.6% m-o-m and 2.9% y-o-y in April (-0.9% and -2.3%, respectively, in March) as increasingly-expensive oil and food hit consumers' purchasing power. The European Commission's economic sentiment survey for May showed consumer confidence hit its lowest level since September 2005 although overall sentiment did at least stabilize and inflation expectations continue to hover around the same level as last summer.

Chart 3

Euro-zone services PMI slipped closer to contraction in May, coming in at 50.6 from 52.0 in April, and took a particularly sharp hit in France, while Italy saw services PMI contract for the third straight month and Spain for the fifth. Industrial new orders for the Euro-zone were much weaker than expected in March, shrinking 1.0% on the month and 2.5% on the year. And came the news that manufacturing orders in powerhouse Germany slipped 1.8% on the month in April as capital goods orders from other Euro-zone states dropped 9.0% - a reflection perhaps of rapid cooling in the likes of Spain and Ireland.

So, what are the odds of a July rate hike? The ECB's mandate is to keep inflation "below but close to 2%" in the medium term. That qualifier allows some wriggle-room - the Council can say that current conditions are temporary and prices will come back toward target in the "medium-term" and can define that however it sees fit. For now, our hunch is that the Council will continue to talk tough but the consensus to stand pat will prevail. As always, though, watch the data.

By Victoria Marklew
The Northern Trust Company
Economic Research Department - Daily Global Commentary

Victoria Marklew is Vice President and International Economist at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. She joined the Bank in 1991, and works in the Economic Research Department, where she assesses country lending and investment risk, focusing in particular on Asia. Ms. Marklew has a B.A. degree from the University of London, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Cash, Crisis, and Corporate Governance: The Role of National Financial Systems in Industrial Restructuring (University of Michigan Press, 1995).

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Northern Trust Company. The Northern Trust Company does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein, such information is subject to change and is not intended to influence your investment decisions.

Victoria Marklew Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules