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Since 1 January 1999 the European Central Bank (ECB) has been responsible for conducting monetary policy for the euro area - the world’s largest economy after the United States.

Articles by European Central Bank

Christine Lagarde: How can a united Europe meet the challenges it faces today?

2 days ago

SPEECHOpening remarks by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, during a dinner on "Uniting Europe" at the World Economic ForumDavos, 23 January 2020This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Schuman declaration, which first put forward the idea of a single authority to govern the production of coal and steel in Europe. Robert Schuman’s method for building Europe was clear: “Europe will not be made all at once”, he said, but “through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”. His idea was that, by taking deliberate policy steps to become interdependent – like sharing raw materials – European countries would become inseparable. And indeed they have. We have become both safer and richer. The formation of the Single Market gives every EU citizen average welfare gains

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ECB launches review of its monetary policy strategy

2 days ago

PRESS RELEASE23 January 2020Review will encompass quantitative formulation of price stability, monetary policy toolkit, economic and monetary analyses and communication practicesOther considerations, such as financial stability, employment and environmental sustainability, will also be part of review Expected to be concluded by end of 2020Review will be based on thorough analysis and open minds, engaging with all stakeholdersThe Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) today launched a review of its monetary policy strategy. The monetary policy strategy was adopted in 1998 and some of its elements were clarified in 2003. Since 2003 the euro area and the world economy have been undergoing profound structural changes. Declining trend growth, on the back of slowing productivity

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Christine Lagarde, Luis de Guindos: Introductory statement to the press conference (with Q&A)

2 days ago

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTChristine Lagarde, President of the ECB,Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB,Frankfurt am Main, 23 January 2020Jump to the transcript of the questions and answersLadies and gentlemen, the Vice-President and I are very pleased to welcome you to our press conference. We will now report on the outcome of today’s meeting of the Governing Council.Based on our regular economic and monetary analyses, we decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged. We expect them to remain at their present or lower levels until we have seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2% within our projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.We will continue to make net

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Monetary policy decisions

2 days ago

PRESS RELEASE23 January 2020At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively. The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2% within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.The Governing Council will continue to make net purchases under its asset purchase programme (APP) at a monthly pace of €20 billion. The Governing Council expects

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Central bank group to assess potential cases for central bank digital currencies

4 days ago

PRESS RELEASE21 January 2020The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank, together with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), have created a group to share experiences as they assess the potential cases for central bank digital currency (CBDC) in their home jurisdictions.The group will assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies. It will closely coordinate with the relevant institutions and forums – in particular, the Financial Stability Board and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI). The group will be co-chaired by Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS

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January 2020 euro area bank lending survey

4 days ago

PRESS RELEASE21 January 2020Credit standards remained broadly unchanged for both loans to enterprises and housing loansDemand for loans to enterprises declined, while demand for housing loans increased furtherEuro area banks use TLTRO-III liquidity largely for granting loansCredit standards – i.e. banks’ internal guidelines or loan approval criteria – remained broadly unchanged for both loans to enterprises and loans to households for house purchase in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the January 2020 bank lending survey (BLS), in line with expectations expressed in the previous survey round. Credit standards for consumer credit and other lending to households tightened further, despite expectations that they would remain broadly unchanged. Risk perceptions (relating to both the

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Account of the monetary policy meeting

9 days ago

Of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank held in Frankfurt am Main on Wednesday and Thursday, 11-12 December 20191. Review of financial, economic and monetary developments and policy optionsFinancial market developmentsMr Cœuré reviewed the latest financial market developments. Since the Governing Council’s previous monetary policy meeting on 23-24 October 2019, there had been signs of increased optimism among market participants. Global bond yields had remained at some distance above the very low levels that had been observed towards the end of summer 2019. Global stock prices were at, or close to, historical highs. All in all, financial market participants were less pessimistic and were pricing in less additional accommodation by central banks than earlier in the year.

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Christine Lagarde: Frankfurt and Europe in a new decade

9 days ago

Speech by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the New Year’s Reception of the City of Frankfurt, 16 January 2020First of all, let me start by wishing you all a happy New Year!It really is a great pleasure to be part of this Neujahrsempfang and to welcome in the New Year with all of you, my new neighbours in my new home. You might be disappointed – or perhaps relieved – to learn that I won’t be talking about monetary policy this evening. We’re in the quiet period ahead of our Governing Council meeting next week where members do not discuss policy issues.Frankfurt as a European cityThe character of every community is shaped by two choices we make: how we organise ourselves internally and how we relate to others externally. That’s true of companies and institutions, and it’s true of

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Christine Lagarde: Interview with “Challenges” magazine

17 days ago

INTERVIEWInterview with Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, by Pierre-Henri de Menthon and Sabine Syfuss-Arnaud8 January 2020You have described yourself as neither a dove nor a hawk, but rather an owl. Why exactly this rather unusual type of bird?Owls are traditionally seen as birds of wisdom that can see well in the dark and have a wide range of vision. However, what I really wanted to highlight was my wish to ensure that discussions within the Governing Council take place in an efficient, of course, but also composed manner.What, in your view, does 2020 have in store for us? What is the greatest threat to the global economy?We would anticipate a growth rate of around 1.1% in the euro area for 2020, which is slightly lower than in 2019. Both within the euro area and globally, the

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Luis de Guindos: Europe’s role in the global financial system

17 days ago

SPEECHSpeech by Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, at the SUERF/De Nederlandsche Bank Conference “Forging a new future between the UK and the EU”,Amsterdam, 8 January 2020It is my pleasure to deliver the keynote speech at this year’s SUERF/DNB conference. The title of this conference is very apt. Brexit will certainly require a new future to be forged between the United Kingdom and the EU. The United Kingdom’s departure has important implications for the EU financial system, most notably for capital markets. So we need to give serious thought to optimally shaping the future relationship between our financial sectors in the awareness that London, though likely to remain an important global financial centre, will become less integrated with EU markets and firms. We will also need to

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Decisions taken by the Governing Council of the ECB (in addition to decisions setting interest rates)

December 20, 2019

December 201920 December 2019Market operationsCollateral eligibility of secured marketable assets other than asset-backed securities and covered bonds On 13 December 2019 the Governing Council decided that it would no longer accept as Eurosystem collateral secured marketable assets other than asset-backed securities (ABSs) and covered bonds. The aim is to establish a consistent and transparent approach to defining the categories of secured marketable assets eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations. The actual entry into force of that decision will be determined by the date of entry into force of the forthcoming amendments to the General Documentation, envisaged for the second quarter of 2020. As of that date, all secured marketable assets other than ABSs and covered bonds

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ECB appoints Petra Senkovic as Director General Secretariat and Pedro Gustavo Teixeira as Director General Secretariat to the Supervisory Board

December 20, 2019

PRESS RELEASE20 December 2019Petra Senkovic and Pedro Gustavo Teixeira to swap roles on 1 February 2020.The European Central Bank (ECB) today announced the appointments of Petra Senkovic as Director General Secretariat and Secretary to ECB decision-making bodies, and Pedro Gustavo Teixeira as Director General Secretariat to the Supervisory Board and Secretary to the Supervisory Board. Ms Senkovic, 49, is currently Director General Secretariat and Secretary to the Supervisory Board, a post she has held since November 2015. Prior to that she was Deputy Director General of the ECB Legal Services and worked at a private law firm. She holds a PhD in law from Sorbonne University and a Master of Arts in European law from the College of Europe in Bruges. Mr Teixeira, 49, is currently Director

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Benoît Cœuré: Monetary policy: lifting the veil of effectiveness

December 18, 2019

SPEECHSpeech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the ECB colloquium on “Monetary policy: the challenges ahead” held in his honourFrankfurt am Main, 18 December 2019In a few days, I will leave the ECB after eight years of unprecedented challenges for the integrity and stability of our single currency, the euro.[1] Throughout these years, the ECB’s resolve and steadiness have been the cornerstone of Europe’s crisis response and economic recovery. I feel grateful and humbled to have been given a chance to be part of this effort. I would like to thank former President Mario Draghi, my Executive Board and Governing Council colleagues, and the staff of this great institution for their friendship and trust. And I would like to wish Isabel Schnabel and Fabio Panetta the

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Benoît Cœuré: Interview with Libération

December 16, 2019

INTERVIEWInterview with Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Jean Quatremer on 4 December, and published on 16 December 201916 December 2019On 25 September, Sabine Lautenschläger, the German member of the Executive Board, resigned after the public sector purchase programme (PSPP), Europe’s “quantitative easing”, was reactivated on 13 September following a majority decision of the Governing Council. Several other ECB members also voted against, and the governors of the German, Austrian and Dutch central banks openly criticised this decision. What happened?In September, the euro area was facing the risk of a further slowdown and inflation was remaining too far away from our 2% objective. The entire Governing Council agreed on this diagnosis – the debate was

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Christine Lagarde: Interview with NOS Nieuwsuur

December 16, 2019

INTERVIEWTranscript of the interview with Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, conducted by Mariëlle Tweebeeke, NOS Nieuwsuur, on 12 December 2019 and broadcast (in part) on 12 December 201916 December 2019Christine Lagarde, thank you so much for making time for us today. It’s really appreciated. A special day; you’ve just had your first press conference as President of the ECB. Had you ever thought you would be President of a central bank?No! Never, but I never thought I would be Managing Director of the IMF, and I never thought I would be Minister of Economy and Finance for France, so my life has been like that.Have you already learned the lingo of the ECB?I’m learning! I’m learning a little bit of German, I’m taking lessons and I’m constantly immersed in central banking jargon and

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Luis de Guindos: Welcome remarks

December 16, 2019

SPEECHRemarks by Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, at the fourth annual ECB macroprudential policy and research conference Frankfurt am Main, 16 December 2019I am delighted to welcome you all to the fourth annual ECB macroprudential policy and research conference. This conference is held annually to ensure that we meet regularly and advance our understanding of macroprudential policy. This year’s focus is on monetary policy and financial stability as it represents the conclusion of the ECB’s Research Task Force dedicated to this topic.In my remarks today I will cover three aspects of macroprudential policy and research. First, I will reflect on the economic and financial conditions that may represent challenges for macroprudential policy. Second, I will focus on selected

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Philip R. Lane: Households and the transmission of monetary policy

December 16, 2019

SPEECHSpeech by Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Central Bank of Ireland/ECB Conference on Household Finance and ConsumptionDublin, 16 December 2019IntroductionIt is a special pleasure to speak at the Sixth Conference on Household Finance and Consumption, which is jointly organised this year by the Central Bank of Ireland and the European Central Bank.[1] The engine behind this conference series is the Eurosystem’s Household Finance and Consumption Network, which coordinates the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS). The HFCS gives us an insight into the distributions of assets, liabilities and incomes across euro area households. It is very promising that many of you, together with other researchers, are using this dataset to improve our

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Luis de Guindos: Financial innovation for inclusive growth: a European approach

December 13, 2019

SPEECHSpeech by Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, at the conference Financial Integration and Inclusive Development – A View from the Mediterranean Countries, jointly organised by Banco de España, OECD and European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed)Madrid, 13 December 2019IntroductionThe benefits of technological innovation are tangible: we can see them and experience them in our everyday lives. Financial services are an integral part of our daily activities and are deeply affected by advances in technology. Payment services have changed considerably in recent years, driven by new technologies and shifts in consumer preferences. Instant person-to-person (P2P) retail payment solutions are now a reality in many countries[1] and are increasingly available for consumers and

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Christine Lagarde, Luis de Guindos: Introductory statement to the press conference (with Q&A)

December 12, 2019

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTChristine Lagarde, President of the ECB,Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB,Frankfurt am Main, 12 December 2019Jump to the transcript of the questions and answersLadies and gentlemen, welcome to our press conference. Today is the first time that I have had the privilege and pleasure of chairing the monetary policy meeting of the Governing Council of the ECB. I am delighted to proceed now with reporting on the outcome of our meeting, together with the Vice-President. The Governing Council meeting was also attended by the Commission Executive Vice-President, Mr Dombrovskis.Based on our regular economic and monetary analyses, we decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged. We expect them to remain at their present or lower levels until we have seen the

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Monetary policy decisions

December 12, 2019

PRESS RELEASE12 December 2019At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively. The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2% within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.On 1 November net purchases were restarted under the Governing Council’s asset purchase programme (APP) at a monthly pace of €20 billion. The Governing Council

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ECB adopts opinion on appointment of new Executive Board member

December 11, 2019

PRESS RELEASE11 December 2019Governing Council has no objection to proposed candidate Isabel SchnabelThe Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) today adopted an opinion on a recommendation from the Council of the European Union on the appointment of a member of the ECB’s Executive Board.The Governing Council had no objection to the proposed candidate, Isabel Schnabel, who is a person of recognised standing and professional experience in monetary or banking matters, as required by Article 283(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Ms Schnabel currently serves as a member of the German Council of Economic Experts and is a professor for financial economics at Bonn University.Following the Governing Council’s opinion and an opinion of the European Parliament,

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Benoît Cœuré: The single currency: an unfinished agenda

December 3, 2019

Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the ECB Representative Office in Brussels, 3 December 2019It is my pleasure to welcome you here tonight to the ECB’s representative office in Brussels. It is overwhelming to see so many long-standing companions and friends.This office was established in the midst of the euro area sovereign debt crisis in 2011. Today, the Brussels office is part and parcel of the ECB. It is our eyes and ears on all European matters, thanks to the unwavering commitment and dedication of our staff here on the ground. Their network is essential for us to get first-hand insights and intelligence from Brussels.Maintaining a high level of cooperation and dialogue with our main European stakeholders is essential, as also exemplified by our

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Luis de Guindos: Interview with El Mundo

December 2, 2019

INTERVIEWInterview with Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, conducted by Pablo Rodríguez Suanzes on 25 November 20192 December 2019How are you finding life in Frankfurt? Frankfurt is a nice city, I like it. The ECB is the most important institution in the framework of the EU, and of the euro area in particular. Exposure to the public is very different to when you’re in government. Here, the relationship is mainly with the European Parliament, through hearings, and with the public, through speeches. Is my life better? It’s different.How do you feel about not being able to speak as freely as before?I can keep speaking normally. I still attend the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN); each week, we have discussions in various forums on issues around monetary and economic

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Christine Lagarde: Hearing at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

December 2, 2019

SPEECHIntroductory statement by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the ECON committee of the European ParliamentBrussels, 2 December 2019Madam Chair,Honourable members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee,Ladies and gentlemen,I am very happy to be back before this Committee for my first regular hearing as ECB President. I want to express my personal and sincere gratitude to this house for the support I received during the appointment process. And I look forward to a constructive and positive relationship between our two institutions going forward. The connection between the ECB and the European Parliament is especially valuable today as a means to reinforce trust in European institutions. In the euro area, support for the single currency has grown steadily in recent

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Christine Lagarde: Hearing at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

December 2, 2019

SPEECHIntroductory statement by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the ECON committee of the European ParliamentBrussels, 2 December 2019Madam Chair,Honourable members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee,Ladies and gentlemen,I am very happy to be back before this Committee for my first regular hearing as ECB President. I want to express my personal and sincere gratitude to this house for the support I received during the appointment process. And I look forward to a constructive and positive relationship between our two institutions going forward. The connection between the ECB and the European Parliament is especially valuable today as a means to reinforce trust in European institutions. In the euro area, support for the single currency has grown steadily in recent

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Luis de Guindos: Interview with El Mundo

December 2, 2019

INTERVIEWInterview with Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, conducted by Pablo Rodríguez Suanzes on 25 November 20192 December 2019How are you finding life in Frankfurt? Frankfurt is a nice city, I like it. The ECB is the most important institution in the framework of the EU, and of the euro area in particular. Exposure to the public is very different to when you’re in government. Here, the relationship is mainly with the European Parliament, through hearings, and with the public, through speeches. Is my life better? It’s different.How do you feel about not being able to speak as freely as before?I can keep speaking normally. I still attend the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN); each week, we have discussions in various forums on issues around monetary and economic

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Luis de Guindos: Closing remarks

November 29, 2019

Closing remarks by Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, at the VIII High-level Policy Dialogue between Eurosystem and Latin American central banksCartagena, 29 November 2019After two days of fruitful discussions, I would like to thank you for a lively and honest exchange of views. I am grateful for your openness in sharing experiences and for the positive discussions on topics that are highly relevant for policymakers everywhere.Let me briefly summarise the key topics we addressed and give you my main takeaways from this meeting:We looked at fostering growth and trade. Protracted weakness and the persistence of prominent downside risks are not only common factors in many of our economies, but are also global phenomena. The weakness in global trade growth – which has decelerated

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Report on the results of the Survey on the Access to Finance of Enterprises in the euro area – April to September 2019

November 29, 2019

PRESS RELEASE29 November 2019Survey results consistent with expectations of subdued growth Lack of availability of skilled labour and difficulty finding customers dominant concerns for SMEsSMEs’ financing conditions and access to finance remain favourable despite a deterioration in the general economic outlookFor the period from April to September 2019 the net percentage of euro area small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) turnover remained broadly stable at robust levels (20%, down from 21% for the previous period). For the first time since mid-2016, euro area SMEs reported a deterioration in profits in net terms (-1%, down from 0%), as SMEs continued to report growing labour costs (50%, down from 52%), increases in other costs (i.e. material and energy) (53%, down from 57%), and

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