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ECB left rates unchanged as expected in April. 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. PEPP purchases over the current quarter to continue to be significantly higher. Reaffirms size of PEPP program at €1.85 trillion.

BankofECB

The European Central Bank announces its monetary policy decision for March 2021

Deposit facility rate -0.50% Main refinancing rate 0.00% Marginal lending facility 0.25%

Highlights

  • ECB reaffirms size of PEPP at €1.85 trillion
  • PEPP purchase over the next quarter to be significantly higher
  • ECB to buy flexibly according to market conditions
  • This is done with a view to prevent tightening of financing conditions If favourable
  • Financing conditions can be maintained moving forward,
  • Full PEPP envelope need not be used PEPP envelope can be recalibrated if required
  • PEPP purchases will continue at monthly pace of €20 billion
  • ECB stands ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate

The ECB still retains the key passage:

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. 

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: April 22 2021

 

At today’s meeting, the Governing Council decided to reconfirm its very accommodative monetary policy stance:

 

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.

 

The Governing Council will continue to conduct net asset purchases under the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) with a total envelope of €1,850 billion until at least the end of March 2022 and, in any case, until it judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over. Since the incoming information confirmed the joint assessment of financing conditions and the inflation outlook carried out at the March monetary policy meeting, the Governing Council expects purchases under the PEPP over the current quarter to continue to be conducted at a significantly higher pace than during the first months of the year.

 

The Governing Council will purchase flexibly according to market conditions and with a view to preventing a tightening of financing conditions that is inconsistent with countering the downward impact of the pandemic on the projected path of inflation. In addition, the flexibility of purchases over time, across asset classes and among jurisdictions will continue to support the smooth transmission of monetary policy. If favourable financing conditions can be maintained with asset purchase flows that do not exhaust the envelope over the net purchase horizon of the PEPP, the envelope need not be used in full. Equally, the envelope can be recalibrated if required to maintain favourable financing conditions to help counter the negative pandemic shock to the path of inflation.

 

The Governing Council will continue to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the PEPP until at least the end of 2023. In any case, the future roll-off of the PEPP portfolio will be managed to avoid interference with the appropriate monetary policy stance.

 

Net purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) will continue at a monthly pace of €20 billion. 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 also 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.

 

Finally, the Governing Council will 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 high take-up of funds. The funding obtained through TLTRO III plays a crucial role in supporting bank lending to firms and households.

 

The Governing Council stands 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.

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

From The TradersCommunity Research Desk

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