ECB Minutes: Interest Rates to Stay at Current Levels, as Long as Needed, to Raise Inflation
The European Central Bank has published the accounts of its June 13-14 monetary policy meeting today. On June 14, the central bank decided to halve its monthly asset purchases to EUR 15 billion after September and to eventually stop them at the end of the year. The bank also signaled that the interest rates will remain at their present levels through the summer of 2019.
According to the ECB minutes, the regulator will keep rates at a record low for as long as needed to raise inflation, and its interest rate guidance should be seen as "open-ended". ECB policymakers agreed that there was a need for retaining ample monetary policy stimulus to support inflation in the euro area and stressed that rates would move only if inflation continued to rise back toward the bank's target of almost 2%.
As the main risks for the Eurozone economic growth, the ECB noted trade war with the United States, a populist challenge from Italy's new government and softening export demand. The euro fell versus US dollar on the relatively dovish comments, trading at 1.1655, down from 1.1675 before the minutes were released.