ECB’s new target marks death of Bundesbank tradition

If confirmed, the ECB’s decision to adopt a 2% inflation target and allow room to overshoot it if needed would mark a historic shift towards the mainstream for the ECB. It would have no immediate implications for monetary policy, but in the longer run may imply policy would be looser for longer.
Andrew Kenningham Chief Europe Economist
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European Economics Update

Rising gas prices will hit Spain hardest

The upward pressure on euro-zone headline inflation from the surge in natural gas prices will not be felt evenly throughout the region, with Spain looking most vulnerable. Governments are stepping in to cushion the blow, but higher energy bills are a downside risk to the euro-zone’s consumer recovery.

20 September 2021

European Economics Weekly

Wage growth to stay weak, inflation to keep rising

Data published this week highlight the challenge to euro-zone consumers from subdued pay growth and rising inflation. We expect inflation to keep rising in the coming months, and probably further than most expect. Next week, we will host a Drop-in webinar on the causes and effects of the recent surge in European gas prices.

17 September 2021

European Data Response

Euro-zone Final HICP (Aug.)

Rising costs – from shipping to energy – are likely to push euro-zone inflation up even further in the coming months. They might also mean that it doesn’t fall quite as quickly next year as we currently assume. But by the end of 2022, we still suspect that inflation will be a long way below the ECB’s target.

17 September 2021

More from Andrew Kenningham

European Chart Book

Activity taking off as hospitality reopens

The economy has continued to rebound strongly as governments have lifted almost all restrictions on retail and restaurants and eased rules on foreign travel. Restaurant bookings are back above pre-pandemic levels and the number of flights is rising steeply (no pun intended!). This rebound is likely to put a bit more pressure on inflation, which looks set to resume its upward course in the second half of the year after pausing in June. The latest statements from key policymakers suggest that the ECB is in no hurry to scale back its asset purchases, but we think the Governing Council will begin to taper its bond-buying in the coming months.

7 July 2021

European Data Response

German Industrial Production (May)

The small decline in German industrial production in May, which left it well below its pre-pandemic level, was due to another big fall in vehicle production. The problems in that, admittedly important, sector are likely to be resolved only gradually, but otherwise the German economy is recovering strongly.

7 July 2021

European Economics Weekly

Surveys overstating peak price pressures

At face value the business surveys published this week suggest that euro-zone inflation may soon rise to around 4%. However, we think it is unlikely to get as high as this and, even if it does, will drop back again early next year. The run of positive economic data is set to continue next week with euro-zone retail sales and German industrial production for May, and final PMIs for June. The account of the last ECB monetary policy meeting may shed some light on the debate over when it will start to taper its asset purchases.

2 July 2021
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