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ECB accounts: Risks broadly balanced notwithstanding protectionism and market volatility

In the accounts of July monetary policy meeting, ECB noted that “members considered that the risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook could still be assessed as broadly balanced”. Though, there are uncertainties related to global factors “notably the threat of protectionism.”. Also, “risk of persistent heightened financial market volatility also continued to warrant monitoring.”

On inflation, there was “broad agreement” on chief economist Peter Praet’s assessment. Annual HICP inflation rose to 2.0% in June. And, “on the basis of current futures prices for oil, annual rates of headline inflation were likely to hover around the current level for the remainder of the year”. Muted underlying inflation “had been increasing from earlier lows”. Also, there was “increasing support” for domestic cost pressures from “ongoing strengthening in wage growth”. Beside, “members broadly shared the view that uncertainties surrounding the inflation outlook had been receding.”

Regarding communications, “members widely expressed satisfaction that the communication of the June monetary policy decisions had been well understood by financial markets.” And, the “enhanced forward guidance on the future path of policy rates had been effective in aligning market views”. That is, ECB interest rates would remain at current levels “at least through the summer of 2019”. It “struck an appropriate balance” between precision and flexibility and “was remarked that the Governing Council’s expectation was probabilistic in nature.”

Full ECB meeting accounts here.

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