Lagarde speech: Won't wait until each item in inflation is back at 2%

Source Fxstreet
Apr 11, 2024 13:34

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), explains the ECB's decision to leave the key interest rates unchanged in April and responds to questions from the press.

Key quotes

"Inflation decline won't be linear."

"Won't wait until each item in inflation is back at 2%."

"Attentive to evolution of oil prices."

"Observing a decline of inflation, progressing disinflation."

"Comforting that monetary policy is contributing to disinflation."

About ECB's press conference

Following the ECB´s monetary policy decisions, the ECB President delivers a prepared statement and responds to questions from the press on the policy outlook. Her comments may influence the volatility of EUR and determine a short-term positive or negative trend. Her hawkish view is considered as positive, or bullish for the EUR, whereas her dovish view is considered as negative, or bearish.

Central banks FAQs

Central Banks have a key mandate which is making sure that there is price stability in a country or region. Economies are constantly facing inflation or deflation when prices for certain goods and services are fluctuating. Constant rising prices for the same goods means inflation, constant lowered prices for the same goods means deflation. It is the task of the central bank to keep the demand in line by tweaking its policy rate. For the biggest central banks like the US Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB) or the Bank of England (BoE), the mandate is to keep inflation close to 2%.

A central bank has one important tool at its disposal to get inflation higher or lower, and that is by tweaking its benchmark policy rate, commonly known as interest rate. On pre-communicated moments, the central bank will issue a statement with its policy rate and provide additional reasoning on why it is either remaining or changing (cutting or hiking) it. Local banks will adjust their savings and lending rates accordingly, which in turn will make it either harder or easier for people to earn on their savings or for companies to take out loans and make investments in their businesses. When the central bank hikes interest rates substantially, this is called monetary tightening. When it is cutting its benchmark rate, it is called monetary easing.

A central bank is often politically independent. Members of the central bank policy board are passing through a series of panels and hearings before being appointed to a policy board seat. Each member in that board often has a certain conviction on how the central bank should control inflation and the subsequent monetary policy. Members that want a very loose monetary policy, with low rates and cheap lending, to boost the economy substantially while being content to see inflation slightly above 2%, are called ‘doves’. Members that rather want to see higher rates to reward savings and want to keep a lit on inflation at all time are called ‘hawks’ and will not rest until inflation is at or just below 2%.

Normally, there is a chairman or president who leads each meeting, needs to create a consensus between the hawks or doves and has his or her final say when it would come down to a vote split to avoid a 50-50 tie on whether the current policy should be adjusted. The chairman will deliver speeches which often can be followed live, where the current monetary stance and outlook is being communicated. A central bank will try to push forward its monetary policy without triggering violent swings in rates, equities, or its currency. All members of the central bank will channel their stance toward the markets in advance of a policy meeting event. A few days before a policy meeting takes place until the new policy has been communicated, members are forbidden to talk publicly. This is called the blackout period.

 

Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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