ECB and UK Maintain Low Rates, Late Word on Quantitative Easing (Updated)

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With deflation in the air in Europe, some form of additional easing measures might have been hoped for. That hope has faded, and the reality is that European Central Bank (ECB) efforts toward quantitative easing measures are simply going to take some time to put together.

UPDATE: Comments came from Mario Draghi in his post-meeting conference that ECB measures to ease monetary policy stance more broadly, and the ECB staff has been tasked with a timely preparation of such measure. The big word came shortly after 9:00 a.m. when Draghi signaled that the ECB balance sheet will expand in the coming months — a further hint of asset buying!

At Thursday’s meeting, the Governing Council of the ECB decided that 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 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.20% respectively.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee held its monetary policy meeting on Thursday as well. The central bank voted to maintain the bank rate at 0.5%. Also, the committee voted to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion.

The United States is ending its quantitative easing measures. The Bank of Japan just doubled down on its quantitative easing measures. Europe is fighting negative growth and deflation.

What comes next? Maybe ECB quantitative easing. That is asset buying!

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