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ECB left rates unchanged as expected in July with controversial Christine Lagarde at the helm. The bank left deposit facility interest rates at .-50% and held steady rates on the main refinancing operations and on the marginal lending facility unchanged.

BankofECB

The European Central Bank announces its monetary policy decision for July 2020

The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively.

The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2% within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.

Highlights

  • Interest rates to remain at present or lower until it has seen inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to but below 2% within its protection horizons (repeat)
  • No change to rate tiering multiplier
  • Will continue purchases under PEPP with a total envelope of 1,350B euros
  • Will continue to fully invest maturing securities at least through end-2022
  • PEPP will run at least through end of June 2021
  • The ECB cites 'very high takeup' of TLTRO-III In its June forecast the ECB saw GDP down 8.7% in 2020 and up 5.2% in 2021

NB LTRO (Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations) is best described as a long term loan to banks to increase loan creation. The banks lend above a specified benchmark and borrow from the ECB at a negative rate. This will provide an incentive for the banks to lend and thus increase private spending in the economy. That's the theory clearly has not been a great success so far.

Full statement by the ECB: July 16, 2020:

At today's meeting the Governing Council of the ECB took the following monetary policy decisions:

(1) The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively. The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2% within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.

(2) The Governing Council will continue its purchases under the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) with a total envelope of €1,350 billion. These purchases contribute to easing the overall monetary policy stance, thereby helping to offset the pandemic-related downward shift in the projected path of inflation. The purchases will continue to be conducted in a flexible manner over time, across asset classes and among jurisdictions. This allows the Governing Council to effectively stave off risks to the smooth transmission of monetary policy. The Governing Council will conduct net asset purchases under the PEPP until at least the end of June 2021 and, in any case, until it judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over. The Governing Council will reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the PEPP until at least the end of 2022. In any case, the future roll-off of the PEPP portfolio will be managed to avoid interference with the appropriate monetary policy stance.

(3) Net purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) will continue at a monthly pace of €20 billion, together with the purchases under the additional €120 billion temporary envelope until the end of the year. The Governing Council continues to expect monthly net asset purchases under the APP to run for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates, and to end shortly before it starts raising the key ECB interest rates. The Governing Council intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.

(4) The Governing Council will also continue to provide ample liquidity through its refinancing operations. In particular, the latest operation in the third series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO III) has registered a very high take-up of funds, supporting bank lending to firms and households.

The Governing Council continues to stand ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards its aim in a sustained manner, in line with its commitment to symmetry.

The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 14:30 CET today."

The statement of President Lagrade ahead

ECB President Christine Lagarde and Vice-President Luis de Guindos explain the Governing Council's monetary policy decisions and answer questions from journalists at today’s press conference.

Webcast – 14:30 CET

Alternate player (audio: en,fr,de) Watch on Twitter @ECB

Live. https://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html

Source: Euopean Central Bank

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