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ECB Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 0%, Highlights Flexibility of Approach

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  • ECB main interest rate remained unchanged – as expected
  • Today marks the first interest rate meeting of the Governing Council in 2022
  • Record high inflation (5.1% for January) tests the ECB’s ‘lower inflation’ forecasts
  • Slowing economic growth may be referenced in support of continued stimulus
ECB turns off money tap, but leaves interest rates unchanged


ECB Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 0%, Highlights Flexibility of Approach

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The statement on monetary policy decisions today essentially echoed the December stance of continued flexibility in net asset purchases which it says has helped “counter the impaired transmission of monetary policy and made the Governing Councils efforts to achieve its goal more effective”.

PEPP and APP Purchases

The ECB announced that it will stop PEPP purchases in March this year as planned but will continue to make purchases related to its APP program, increasing Q2 purchases to 40 billion Euros but decreasing the amount to 30 billion in Q3. “The pandemic has shown that, under stressed conditions, flexibility in the design and conduct of asset purchases has helped to counter the impaired transmission of monetary policy and made the Governing Council’s efforts to achieve its goal more effective” – ECB Monetary Policy Statement

The statement continued, “The Governing Council intends to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the PEPP until at least the end of 2024” and mentioned that reinvestment of APP principal payments will continue for an extended period of time after the day it starts raising interest rates.

Markets largely expected rates to remain on hold and therefore there has been little volatility in EUR/USD shortly after the announcement.

EUR/USD 5 Min Chart

ECB Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 0%, Highlights Flexibility of Approach

Source: IG, prepared by Richard Snow

Considering the BoE rate hike moments earlier, it’s no surprise that EUR/GBP trades slightly lower after the release.

EUR/GBP 5 Min Chart

ECB Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 0%, Highlights Flexibility of Approach

Source: IG, prepared by Richard Snow

--- Written by Richard Snow for DailyFX.com. 3rd Feb 2022

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