ECB Preview: 11 Major Banks expectations from December meeting


Today, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank will hold its monetary policy meeting at 1330 GMT for the month of December. As we get close to the decision timings, here are the expectations as forecasted by the economists and researchers of 11 major banks for today’s meet.

It will be Lagarde's first meeting as chair and it is highly likely that the focus will be on the strategic review. Meanwhile, the ECB is widely expected to leave its monetary policy settings unchanged and is a unanimous consensus amongst major banks.

TD Securities

“Today's ECB meeting is the first with Christine Lagarde as President. We look for rates to remain unchanged, and for macro forecasts to show GDP growth downgrades for 2020 and 2021, while HICP is upgraded in 2020 on higher oil futures, and a first 2022 estimate of 1.7%.”

“We look for Lagarde though to give very little away on future monetary policy, and to stick to a few well-rehearsed lines with a message of data dependence. The primary focus for the press conference is likely to be on the upcoming ECB review.”

Danske Bank

“The December ECB meeting, which will be Lagarde's first meeting as chair, is set to focus on the strategic review. With forward guidance and new QE purchases already set for the coming months, no change in monetary policy is expected for the near future.”

“Markets are likely to trade sideways through the press conference. We doubt specific details of the strategic review will be announced but we hope for at least some scope. We do not expect a deadline to be announced.”

Rabobank

“This week marks the first ECB monetary policy meeting led by President Lagarde. We don’t expect any changes at this juncture. However, some doubts were expressed about the inflation assumptions in the October meeting. We think that the bleak outlook for 2020 will eventually force the ECB’s hand. In her first speech, Ms. Lagarde stated that the ECB’s strategic review would begin soon. The press conference may reveal more information about this, and could come with a formal announcement.”

Westpac

“The ECB Governing Council meeting is the first with Christine Lagarde at the helm. Her press conference is probably the most interesting part of the meeting, even though we will see quarterly staff forecasts.”

“Mario Draghi battled hawks to bring in a range of easing measures in September, including restarting QE from November at EUR20bn per month, cutting the excess deposit rate to -0.5% and importantly, switching to open-ended guidance on QE and rates, rather than the previous specific date limits. There seems to be little chance of a change in these policy settings until deep into 2020 at the earliest.”

ING

“With the eurozone economy somewhat stabilising and inflation still quite far off the ECB’s target, there are hardly any economic arguments for Europe's central bank to adjust its monetary policy. Judging from latest comments by senior ECB officials, a majority of the Governing Council seems happy with the current stance - any changes, even in the ‘soft’ communication, in our view would be a surprise.”

“In our view, this week’s ECB meeting will not bring any short-term changes to monetary policy but should clearly help to better understand the ECB under the new president.”

Deutsche Bank

“Although the market is similarly expecting no changes in interest rates, the meeting will be closely watched as it’s the first monetary policy decision since President Lagarde came to office. It’ll be interesting to see what she says in the subsequent press conference, and whether there are any updates on the upcoming strategic review.”

“Our European economists write that they expect the Governing Council “will likely remain cautious and view the balance of risks as still tilted to the downside.” Yet they also say that they think Lagarde will make an immediate change, and they say that “we expect the willingness to use “all instruments” to be conditioned on an assessment of the possible side effects of policy.”

Nordea Markets

“Lagarde’s debut as the president of the ECB at a monetary policy meeting is likely to not give us many hints about the next steps. A consensus will need to be built as we await the effects of the September package.”

“We continue to expect a March easing package based on more disappointments from both inflation and growth in the coming months.”

“The little information we have received so far about Lagarde’s monetary policy views does not point to strong deviations from Draghi’s course for now. We will watch her tone in the press conference after the meeting.”

ANZ

“Christine Lagarde has inherited negative interest rates, a swollen ECB balance sheet and a tone of disunity over the most recent policy initiatives.”

“Breaking the downward shift in inflation expectations and encouraging a better policy mix in the euro area will be the main challenges under her leadership.”

“We expect this week’s policy meeting will begin the process of building on Draghi’s achievements and ensuring his necessary policy prescription is temporary, as intended.”

BBVA

According to the Research Department at BBVA, the central bank is likely to back the minutes from the October meeting. They do not expect significant changes in the economic forecasts. 

“In her first meeting as ECB President Mr. Lagarde is likely to back what October minutes showed calling for patience to let the new easing package take effect on the economy and the inflation outlook. Moreover, she will focus in stressing that more efforts on fiscal policy by governments along the lines that she recently said that the ECB's accommodative monetary policy would "achieve its goal faster and with fewer side effects" if euro area governments supported it with fiscal policy. It is likely that she would make a reference to the review of its monetary policy strategy, emphasizing what she recently stated in one of her latest speeches that the new strategy will be guided by principles of thorough analysis and an open mind.”

“We no longer expect a depo rate cut as risks have moderated and the ECB seems less likely to ease further (but it cannot be ruled out if conditions deteriorate).”

“We do not expect significant changes in the ECB updated forecast, maintaining a gloomy growth outlook and a gradual increase in core inflation over the for

ASB

In the view of the analysts at ASB Bank, the European Central Bank (ECB) is unlikely to adjust its monetary policy settings at its meeting due this Thursday at 1330 GMT.

“Widely expected to make no monetary policy changes and maintain its open-ended accommodative easing stance.”

“The ECB could announce the launch of a comprehensive review of its monetary policy strategy at this meeting.”

“The ECB review is expected to be wide-ranging - from the definition of price stability to the tools used to achieve the price stability objective.”

UOB

“This would be Christine Lagarde’s first meeting as ECB president. She may not have to change policy for some time as the latest stimulus package runs its course. But further out, providing more stimulus could be complicated, largely because so much has already been deployed.”

“The ECB’s deposit rate is already at a record-low of -0.5% and its bond-buying programme is close to self-imposed limits on how much of each country’s debt it can own.”

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