There was no more talk of “forward guidance”, but the guidance was pretty clear: no change to the view, on track for a first rate hike in a very gradual series, starting around a year from now. Nothing to see here.
Given that Draghi has now openly pegged the outlook for monetary policy at least partly to the exchange rate, the prospect of both short-term and long-term investors buying the euro is a worrying obstacle for policy.
What is also becoming increasingly evident is that it wouldn’t do much good.
There is no serious risk of deflation in the euro zone, nearly every one of them says, and from here onward, euro zone inflation will only be higher than the March trough of 0.5 percent.
This time last year, analysts and investors were nearly unanimous in their expectation for a whole lot of nothing from Britain’s economy which, after a valiant leap higher from a spectacularly successful 2012 Olympic Games hosted in London, was back to just bumping along.
Now the UK is looking to clock the best sprint in the G7 for the first three months of a year – and by a wide margin.
Ask three different economists and you’ll get three different answers.
While that’s not anything new, the different ways some analysts have spun the surprise — one of the biggest on U.S. data in many months — is exceptionally far from anything resembling a consensus.
New home sales – a leading indicator for housing – plummeted by 14.5 percent in March, totally wrong-footing the Reuters consensus of forecasters. They were expecting modest improvement after a decidedly poor winter for the U.S. economy on nearly all measures.
The February jobs report will be no exception to this U.S. season of climactic howling.
Much ink has been spilled over the past several months over when the Bank of England will eventually raise interest rates from a record low of 0.5 percent, and if they’ll do it before the Federal Reserve does. The pound is trading near a five-year high against a basket of currencies as a result.
BoE Governor Mark Carney and other Monetary Policy Committee members have tried to remind the public and businesses at every chance they are given that a rate rise is still a way off – likely at least a year – and that when it’s time for the central bank to lift rates, it will do so gradually.
With Wall Street grappling to hold on to its record highs, a lot is riding on good news from the U.S. economy, no matter how high the Federal Reserve has set the bar for backing off its clear plan to end its monetary stimulus program this year.
After two huge upsets in a row on the important U.S. economic data releases since Christmas — December non-farm payrolls and the January ISM manufacturing report, forecasters are lining up again for an improvement in hiring.
Unemployment in the euro zone is stuck at 12 percent, an already high rate that masks eye-popping rates in many of its struggling member economies.
But in a press conference lasting one hour, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi mentioned the problem of high unemployment only a few times – satisfied with the central bank’s usual stance of imploring euro zone governments to implement structural reforms to their labour markets, on a case by case basis.