Lagarde promises wide-ranging review of ECB monetary policy

Euro Stable as ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged, As Expected

ECB’s Lagarde sees slowdown bottoming out

Christine Lagarde made no surprise announcements in her first monetary policy announcement as president of the European Central Bank, keeping interest rates at their record low levels.

"I will have my own style".

Other themes that were getting attention were Lagarde's plans for a review of the bank's monetary policy framework and how it defines price stability, the goal it is supposed to seek under the European Union treaty.

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Talking point: The global economy has been grappling with new challenges since the bank last reviewed its policy in 2003, including the impact of technology and climate change.

"Don't over-interpret, don't second guess, don't cross reference, I'm going to be myself and therefore probably different", she told journalists.

Lagarde, who took office as the new ECB chief on November 1, backed the comprehensive policy package that the European central bank rolled out in September, saying it provides a substantial monetary stimulus that ensures favorable financing conditions for all sectors of the economy. Moreover, the head of the Federal Reserve is confident that the labor market has room for growth.

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The key item to watch was the language on inflation and that remains unchanged.

To take pressure off the bank, some have argued for more flexibility around the target, giving the ECB leeway since it has already exhausted conventional policy instruments and relies of untested tools such as bond purchases and ultra cheap loans to banks. On November 1, 2019, the European Central Bank reengaged net purchases under its asset purchase programme (APP) at a monthly pace of €20 billion. The ECB sees the eurozone growing only a modest 1.1 percent next year.

As expected, the bank reiterated its guidance that interest rates would "remain at their present or lower levels" until inflation in the euro zone moves closer to its "close to, but below" 2% target. As expected, following the optimistic statements, the stock market has started to show an upward trend.

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"With an inflation forecast of only 1.7% for the 4Q of 2022, Lagarde has admitted today that the European Central Bank has failed in its mandate. But is it the aim that we pursue? No".

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