We just got the biggest hint yet from one of the European Central Bank’s rate-setters that the eurozone may get another round of quantitative easing (QE).
National Bank of Austria chief Ewald Nowotny, one of the ECB’s governing council, stressed that inflation is too low and that “it’s quite obvious that additional sets of instruments are necessary.”
The ECB failed to release the speech after it was made, but it produced a market reaction, sending the euro lower.
Nowotny is just a single member of the council, as Frederik Ducrozet of Pictet Wealth Management notes, and it’s not clear how much if any support his view commands among the rest of the council.
Here’s what happened to the euro-dollar exchange rate afterwards:
The eurozone first set out on a round of quantitative easing in January, promising €60 billion ($US68.72 billion or £44.38 billion) in monthly purchases of both private and public assets (largely government bonds) to try to boost the bloc’s flagging growth and inflation rates.
Since then, there’s been a constant back-and-forth about whether the next move from the ECB will be a boost for QE, an extension of the existing purchases, or start reducing them.
Mario Draghi, the central bank’s president, has repeatedly stated that the purchases will last until at least September 2016, or until there’s a sustained and clear strengthening in inflation, which there certainly has not been since January.
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