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Account of the monetary policy meeting

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Of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, held in Frankfurt am Main on Wednesday and Thursday, 24-25 July 20191. Review of financial, economic and monetary developments and policy options Financial market developmentsMr Cœuré reviewed the financial market developments since the Governing Council’s previous monetary policy meeting on 5-6 June 2019. Sovereign bond yields had temporarily fallen to multi-year lows in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, and to new record lows in large parts of the euro area. Econometric evidence suggested that expectations of further global monetary policy easing had been the main driver behind the fall in euro area ten-year overnight index swap (OIS) rates since the start of 2019.Developments in the EONIA forward curve indicated that

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of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, held in Frankfurt am Main on Wednesday and Thursday, 24-25 July 2019

1. Review of financial, economic and monetary developments and policy options

Financial market developments

Mr Cœuré reviewed the financial market developments since the Governing Council’s previous monetary policy meeting on 5-6 June 2019. Sovereign bond yields had temporarily fallen to multi-year lows in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, and to new record lows in large parts of the euro area. Econometric evidence suggested that expectations of further global monetary policy easing had been the main driver behind the fall in euro area ten-year overnight index swap (OIS) rates since the start of 2019.

Developments in the EONIA forward curve indicated that a 10 basis point cut in the ECB deposit facility rate was currently priced in for September 2019, and, at its trough, the curve had priced in a cumulative cut of almost 30 basis points by the end of 2020. There had also been a considerable downward shift in survey-based measures of interest rate expectations in the euro area. Furthermore, uncertainty around the near-term policy outlook had increased over the past few weeks, as evidenced by a wider dispersion of forward money market rates and a stronger bias towards more negative rates.

Euro area ten-year sovereign spreads vis-à-vis the German Bund had narrowed further in lower-rated jurisdictions since the Governing Council’s previous monetary policy meeting and had hit multi-year lows in all countries, except Italy. Spreads in Spain, Portugal and Greece had narrowed to nearly half the levels observed at the start of 2019. Credit spreads of European financial and non-financial corporations (NFCs) had also fallen over recent weeks. These developments had essentially reversed the widening of spreads seen in May. Covered bond spreads, meanwhile, had remained more stable.

Turning to the market for euro area inflation-linked financial instruments, a decomposition of long-term inflation expectations suggested that the bulk of the observed decline reflected a lower inflation risk premium rather than a change in expected inflation. However, the picture was different when looking at shorter-term inflation expectations, where most of the decline since the autumn of last year reflected a fall in “genuine” inflation expectations.

With regard to equity markets, the Euro Stoxx 50 and the S&P 500 had risen by around 17% and 20% respectively since the start of 2019. According to a decomposition using the ECB’s dividend-discount model, the prospects of further monetary policy easing and lower earnings expectations had been the main factors affecting stock prices in the euro area and the United States since the start of the year. In both markets, the fall in discount rates had largely offset the deterioration in the earnings outlook. The role of the equity risk premium had differed across the two markets, however. In the euro area, the risk premium had had a broadly neutral effect on stock markets over the course of the year. In the United States, by contrast, the risk premium had fallen considerably and persistently, thereby supporting stock markets over and above the fall in yields, despite a more marked downward revision to earnings prospects.

Finally, as regards exchange rate developments, the longer-term depreciation trend of the euro against the US dollar had attenuated in early June 2019, although volatility remained high. A decomposition of the main drivers of the EUR/USD exchange rate showed that since the start of 2019 relative monetary policy expectations had tended to put upward pressure on the euro, consistent with the extent of repricing in the euro area and US money markets that had been observed over this period.

The global environment and economic and monetary developments in the euro area

Mr Lane reviewed the global environment and recent economic and monetary developments in the euro area. Regarding the external environment, survey data had indicated a slowdown in global activity in the second quarter of 2019, particularly in manufacturing. Global trade had remained subdued on the back of a weakening of both global investment and durable goods consumption growth, as well as ongoing trade tensions. Oil prices had been volatile amid geopolitical tensions and had increased by 2.4% since the June monetary policy meeting, with Brent crude oil standing at around USD 63.8 per barrel. Over the same period the euro exchange rate had depreciated slightly, both in bilateral terms against the US dollar and in nominal effective terms.

Turning to the euro area, according to Eurostat’s third release, real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019 was confirmed at 0.4%. Incoming information since the June Governing Council meeting had remained broadly in line with the June 2019 Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections. This pointed to subdued growth in the second and third quarters of the year and indicated that risks to the outlook remained tilted to the downside. Business surveys since mid-June suggested an ongoing slowdown in output growth, with the gap between weak manufacturing and generally stronger services activity widening somewhat further.

Regarding the components of domestic demand, real private consumption had posted strong growth in the first quarter of 2019, increasing by 0.5% in quarter-on-quarter terms, from 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Looking ahead, continued growth in private consumption was consistent with households’ view of their financial situation and their expectations for the next 12 months, which had remained robust. In part, this improvement had also reflected fiscal measures, which had boosted disposable income in 2019. In addition, private consumption had continued to be supported by rising labour income. Short-term indicators had so far confirmed a continuation of somewhat weaker business investment. Thus far, this had been broadly in line with the predictions based on an accelerator model.

Labour markets had improved further, continuing the reduction in unemployment and creation of employment that had been under way in recent years. The unemployment rate had declined to 7.5% in May – 0.1 percentage points lower than in the previous month. At the same time, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) on employment had declined to 52 in July, after being broadly stable in the first half of 2019. At current levels, the PMI on employment pointed to positive, albeit slowing, employment growth in the third quarter.

The trade outlook had remained surrounded by uncertainty and there was no clear sign of stabilisation. In terms of types of good, car export volumes had remained significantly below those recorded last year, reflecting lower global demand for passenger cars. After a modest recovery around the turn of the year, the contribution of capital goods exports had continued to be subdued.

Turning to price developments, current and projected inflation had remained muted. In June euro area annual HICP inflation had increased to 1.3%, from 1.2% in May, as a decline in energy price inflation had been more than offset by higher HICP inflation excluding food and energy, which had rebounded to 1.1% in June, from 0.8% in May. Looking through calendar effects related to the late timing of Easter this year, measures of underlying inflation had continued to move sideways. The incoming data had been broadly in line with the June projections, although a mechanical update of the short-term HICP outlook suggested a somewhat lower path.

Growth in compensation per employee was 2.3% in the first quarter of 2019, up from 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and slightly above the long-term average of 2.1%. Unit labour costs had shown a notable upward trajectory since the beginning of 2018, but had stabilised more recently. The higher wage and labour cost growth in recent quarters was only partially reflected in developments in the GDP deflator, as the contribution of unit profits had been dampened.

Survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations in the euro area had declined. The longer-term expectation reported in the July round of the Survey of Professional Forecasters stood at 1.7%, which was 0.2 percentage points below the survey result recorded over the period from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. Since the June Governing Council meeting market-based measures of inflation expectations had been broadly unchanged amid some notable intra-period volatility.

Euro area financial conditions had eased further, continuing the trend seen since the start of the year. Since the Governing Council’s June meeting the EONIA forward curve had shifted down further and now exhibited an even more pronounced inversion at the short end. At the longer end of the term structure, euro area risk free rates had declined since the June meeting. Most of the decline in recent months had been due to a decline in term premia. However, the expectations component had also been declining since the autumn of 2018. Euro area equity prices had continued to increase on the back of lower discount rates, as well as lower equity risk premia.

Turning to money and credit developments, the annual growth rate of broad money (M3) had continued to be rather resilient despite the declining contribution of purchases under the asset purchase programme. Credit to the private sector had remained the main source of broad money creation. However, its effect on M3 dynamics had been almost matched by the contribution of external monetary inflows in May. The strong increase in the contribution of these inflows to annual M3 growth since October 2018 had coincided with increased interest among foreign investors in euro area assets. However, external monetary flows had tended to be volatile.

Euro area banks had experienced a broad-based improvement in their funding costs from a local peak in January 2019. The low bank funding costs were being transmitted to borrowing costs for NFCs. In May the composite bank lending rates for NFCs had reached new historical lows. At the same time, in the July 2019 bank lending survey, euro area banks had reported a net tightening of credit standards on loans to NFCs in the second quarter of 2019.

As regards fiscal policy, the euro area fiscal stance, as measured by the change in the cyclically adjusted primary balance, was expected to be mildly expansionary in 2019-20.

Monetary policy considerations and policy options

Summing up, Mr Lane remarked that financial conditions had eased since the June Governing Council meeting, largely on account of market expectations of further monetary policy easing. Bank lending conditions for firms and households remained very favourable.

Incoming data still pointed to somewhat weaker growth in the second and third quarters of this year, in line with the June 2019 Eurosystem staff projections. Softening global growth and weak international trade dynamics were weighing on the euro area outlook, while the prolonged presence of uncertainties continued to dampen business sentiment, especially in the manufacturing sector. At the same time, the services sector had been robust and favourable labour market dynamics were supporting consumption.

The balance of risks remained tilted to the downside, reflecting the prolonged presence of uncertainties, related to geopolitical factors, the rising threat of protectionism, and vulnerabilities in emerging markets.

HICP inflation had increased in June, while measures of underlying inflation had continued to move sideways. Market-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations had stagnated at the historic lows reached after the June meeting, while surveys signalled a marked fall in longer-term expectations. Wage growth had been robust and was expected to support inflation in the future, although the softening in inflation expectations could slow the pass-through of cost pressures to inflation.

Based on this assessment, Mr Lane proposed that at the current meeting the Governing Council underline the need for a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy for a prolonged period of time, as inflation rates, both realised and projected, had been persistently below levels that were in line with its aim. In this regard, the Governing Council needed to underscore its preparedness to act at its forthcoming meetings should the inflation outlook fail to improve, in line with its commitment to a symmetric inflation aim. Accordingly, Mr Lane proposed the following decisions: first, to adjust the forward guidance on the key ECB interest rates by reintroducing an easing bias; and, second, to task the relevant Eurosystem Committees with initiating preparatory work on policy options, including ways to strengthen the forward guidance on policy rates, mitigating measures, such as the design of a tiered system for reserve remuneration, and the modalities of potential new net asset purchases.

2. Governing Council’s discussion and monetary policy decisions

Economic and monetary analyses

With regard to the economic analysis, members broadly shared the assessment of the outlook for economic activity in the euro area provided by Mr Lane in his introduction. Incoming information indicated that softening global growth dynamics and weak international trade were still weighing on the euro area outlook. Moreover, the prolonged presence of uncertainties, related to geopolitical factors, the rising threat of protectionism, and vulnerabilities in emerging markets, was dampening economic sentiment. At the same time, employment gains and increasing wages continued to underpin the resilience of the euro area economy. The impact of these global and domestic factors was visible in the differing developments in the euro area manufacturing sector and in the services and construction sectors.

In considering the outlook and risks for the external environment, members referred to ongoing uncertainties related to trade tensions, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU and the rotation in the Chinese growth model from manufacturing investment towards consumption and services. In this context, it was underlined that the main causes of the slowdown in euro area activity lay outside the euro area. The prospects for global trade were assessed to remain poor, despite some recent signs of stabilisation. It was noted that the pervasive geopolitical and trade tensions had not led to more upward pressure on oil prices and on prices more generally, which could be seen as confirmation that currently the dominant factor in international markets was related to weak global demand. The risks to the external environment were assessed to remain on the downside. However, the back and forth in the intensity of some of the drivers of uncertainty also implied some volatility in these downside risks.

Turning to euro area activity, members generally concurred that incoming information had remained broadly consistent with the June staff projections, with recent data mostly being on the soft side, confirming expectations that real GDP growth in the second and third quarters of 2019 would be weaker than the 0.4% quarter-on-quarter growth recorded in the first quarter. The latest PMI data were cited as an example of disappointing news. There was now an increased likelihood that the economic slowdown or “soft patch” that had emerged last year would be more protracted than had previously been anticipated. Moreover, in contrast to the pattern reported in the June Eurosystem staff projections, available “soft” indicators at present pointed to slower growth in the third quarter of 2019, raising more general doubts regarding the expected recovery in the second half of the year. While the absence thus far of signs of the expected recovery in the second half of the year was worrying, reference was made to unchanged positive fundamentals, such as those related to favourable financing conditions or to the income growth associated with further employment gains and rising wages. There was broad agreement that it was sensible to collect more information and await the September ECB staff projections for a thorough review of the outlook.

In discussing the economic situation and outlook, members widely stressed the dichotomy between weak activity in the manufacturing sector and generally resilient activity in the services and construction sectors. This was broadly mirrored by a dichotomy between weaker export growth and more resilient consumption and residential investment growth. On the one hand, these dichotomies were considered natural given the exposure of the manufacturing sector to the weakening in global trade and the support for the more domestically oriented sectors, such as services and construction, from strong labour markets and real incomes. On the other hand, concern was expressed that such dichotomies could not last forever and that sooner or later there might be spillovers or contagion from the weakening in manufacturing. In this context, it was argued that manufacturing was typically a leading indicator of services. It was also pointed out that, while the weakness in the euro area manufacturing sector had thus far manifested itself mainly in a few larger euro area countries, interconnectedness via value chains implied a risk of wider propagation across the euro area. However, it was also remarked that there was a trend decline in the importance of manufacturing relative to services, suggesting that large spillovers were not inevitable. While the continued improvement in labour markets was acknowledged, reference was made to the latest worsening of PMI survey data for employment and the question was raised as to how long the job market would still be posting positive surprises.

Members assessed the balance of risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook to remain tilted to the downside. It was also considered that these downside risks had become more pervasive and that their persistence could ultimately also necessitate a revision to the baseline growth scenario.

With respect to the outlook for fiscal policy, members noted the support for economic activity coming from the mildly expansionary euro area fiscal stance. Reference was made to the increasing contribution of government consumption and investment in the context of the declining real GDP growth rates generally observed since last year. The contingency of a significant further deterioration in euro area economic activity would call for fiscal policy to assume a more prominent role in sustaining demand. In this respect, it was reiterated that governments should use fiscal space in countries where it was available and should continue to rebuild fiscal buffers in those where debt was high.

Regarding price developments, there was broad agreement with the assessment presented by Mr Lane in his introduction. Euro area annual HICP inflation had increased to 1.3% in June 2019, from 1.2% in May, as higher HICP inflation excluding food and energy had more than offset lower energy price inflation. On the basis of current futures prices for oil, headline inflation was likely to decline over the coming months, before rising again towards the end of the year. Looking through the recent volatility owing to temporary factors, measures of underlying inflation had continued to move sideways and remained generally muted. While labour cost pressures had strengthened and broadened further amid high levels of capacity utilisation and tightening labour markets, the pass-through of cost pressures to inflation was taking longer than previously anticipated. Over the medium term underlying inflation was expected to increase, supported by monetary policy measures, the ongoing economic expansion and stronger wage growth.

When discussing the inflation outlook, it was underlined that although wage growth had remained solid and some measures were above their longer-term averages, both market-derived and survey-based measures of inflation expectations had declined. Furthermore, the lag in the pass-through of cost pressures to prices implied a compression of profit margins and raised the questions of how long this could last and what it meant for price adjustments.

Regarding longer-term inflation expectations, members widely shared the view that the recent declines were a matter of concern, which warranted close monitoring. It was stressed that declines were no longer visible only in the market-based indicators but were now also apparent in survey-based indicators, which had fallen to historical lows. The point was made that it mattered how influential inflation expectations from financial markets and professional forecasters were in shaping those of other economic agents. Available information suggested that the expectations of financial market participants or professional forecasters differed from those of households and firms. It was also noted that the difference between the low levels of market-based measures and the higher levels of survey-based measures could be explained by a negative risk premium, but it was also argued that the negative risk premium might itself be of concern if it reflected hedging against outcomes of very low inflation or deflation and therefore provided no grounds for complacency.

With regard to the monetary analysis, members widely shared the assessment provided by Mr Lane in his introduction. The annual growth rate of broad money (M3) had been 4.5% in June, down from 4.8% in May, reflecting a negative base effect. The sustained rates of broad money growth were supported by ongoing bank credit creation for the private sector and low opportunity costs of holding M3. The narrow monetary aggregate M1 continued to be the main contributor to broad money growth on the components side. Lending to the non-financial private sector was expanding at a robust pace, with unchanged annual growth rates of 3.8% for loans to NFCs and 3.3% for loans to households in June. Overall, loan growth continued to benefit from historically low bank lending rates.

Members also agreed that the ECB’s monetary policy measures continued to support loan growth and, ultimately, real activity and inflation. The euro area bank lending survey for the second quarter of 2019 indicated that loan growth continued to be supported by increasing demand across all loan categories. At the same time, credit standards for loans to enterprises had tightened in the second quarter amid concerns about the economic outlook, while they had remained broadly unchanged for loans for house purchase. A remark was made that negative interest rates were increasing the pressure on the banking sector, particularly in countries where banks were not able to impose negative rates on deposits. Consequently, the longer-term effects of negative policy rates needed to be monitored carefully to ensure that they exerted their intended effect on bank lending.

Monetary policy stance and policy considerations

With regard to the monetary policy stance, members widely shared the assessment provided by Mr Lane in his introduction. Overall, financial conditions had eased since the Governing Council’s June monetary policy meeting, largely on account of market expectations of further monetary policy easing. Bank lending conditions for firms and households remained very favourable. An ample degree of monetary accommodation remained necessary for financial conditions to support the euro area expansion, the ongoing build-up of domestic price pressures and, thus, headline inflation developments over the medium term.

Members shared the assessment that information available since the early June Governing Council meeting indicated that, while further employment gains and increasing wages continued to underpin the resilience of the economy, softening global growth dynamics and weak international trade were still weighing on the euro area outlook. The prolonged presence of uncertainties, related to geopolitical factors, the rising threat of protectionism, and vulnerabilities in emerging markets, continued to dampen economic sentiment, notably in the manufacturing sector. It was noted that, while recent data were broadly in line with the baseline scenario and the forces underlying the baseline – such as solid wage growth and rising cost pressures – were still seen as intact, the uncertainty around the projected duration of the economic slowdown remained high, also affecting the medium-term inflation outlook. In this environment, inflationary pressures had remained muted and indicators of inflation expectations had declined.

Despite the considerable divergence in the levels of different survey-based and market-based measures of medium-term inflation expectations and the observation that market-based measures may have been affected by special factors, broad agreement prevailed that the overall downward movement across indicators was a cause for concern from a monetary policy perspective.

Against the background of inflation rates, both realised and projected, remaining persistently below levels that were in line with the Governing Council’s inflation aim, members widely agreed with the assessment that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy was needed for a prolonged period of time. In this context, confirming the symmetry of the Governing Council’s medium-term inflation aim was seen as an important element to bolster the achievement of a sustained adjustment in inflation to its aim. A remark was made that so far the interaction between the inflation aim and the Governing Council’s definition of price stability as an inflation rate of below 2% introduced, de facto, an element of asymmetry. A view was put forward that a discussion of symmetry around the inflation aim could not be separated from a discussion about the level of this aim, while the point was made that any future change in the inflation aim should not be employed as an isolated policy measure but should be linked to a broader review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy to ensure consistency of the strategy. At the same time, the point was made that a clarification of the symmetric nature of the Governing Council’s “reaction function” would not pre-empt a full review of the monetary policy strategy at a later point in time.

Members expressed broad agreement with the monetary policy proposals made by Mr Lane in his introduction: first, to adjust the forward guidance on the key ECB interest rates by reintroducing an easing bias; and, second, to initiate preparatory work, including on ways to strengthen the Governing Council’s forward guidance on policy rates, mitigating measures, such as the design of a tiered system for reserve remuneration, and options for the size and composition of potential new net asset purchases. It was seen as important for the Governing Council to demonstrate its determination and capacity to act and to be prepared to ease the policy stance further by adjusting all of its instruments, as appropriate, to achieve its inflation aim. Looking ahead, more information would be available at the Governing Council’s monetary policy meeting in September, when new projections, incorporating the effects of the measures taken at the Governing Council’s June meeting, would be presented.

Members broadly supported the reintroduction of an easing bias to the Governing Council’s forward guidance on interest rates in the light of the weakness of the economic outlook and the muted inflation developments. The easing bias was considered appropriate for addressing the risk of an unwarranted tightening of monetary conditions related to the short end of the yield curve in view of the persistent uncertainty surrounding global developments.

Members also broadly supported the proposal made by Mr Lane to task the relevant Eurosystem Committees with examining options for future policy measures. Some nuances were expressed about the design and the individual elements of a possible policy package, which was presented as a list of options. In particular, it was argued that the term premium on long-term euro area bonds had already been compressed for quite some time and that the risk of an unwarranted tightening of financial conditions was higher at the short end than at the long end of the yield curve. However, the view was expressed that the various options should be seen as a package, i.e. a combination of instruments with significant complementarities and synergies, since experience had shown that a policy package – such as the combination of rate cuts and asset purchases – was more effective than a sequence of selective actions. The point was made that the choice of instruments and the design of a possible package should reflect the relative effectiveness of different instruments in addressing future contingencies.

Members saw value in examining ways to further strengthen the state-based component of the forward guidance on the path of policy rates, announcing preparatory work on the design of a tiered system or other options to mitigate the effects of negative interest rates on bank-based intermediation, and preparatory work on modalities for potential new net asset purchases. In this context, it was also argued that linking the state-contingent leg of the forward guidance to inflation would require attention being paid to consistency with the inflation aim. While members expressed broad agreement with initiating preparatory work on mitigating measures, some concerns were raised regarding possible unintended consequences of a tiered system and its ability to fully mitigate the potential effects of negative policy rates on bank intermediation.

Against this background, communication needed to strike a careful balance between, on the one hand, giving unduly negative signals about the state of the economy and, on the other hand, effectively counteracting the concern among some observers that the Governing Council lacked the necessary instruments to secure the convergence of inflation to its inflation aim over the medium term.

It was therefore seen as appropriate for the Governing Council to adjust its forward guidance on the key ECB interest rates, namely that it now expected them to remain at their present or lower levels at least through the first half of 2020, and in any case for as long as necessary, while restating its forward guidance on reinvestments. Moreover, the Governing Council should underline the need for a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy for a prolonged period of time, as inflation rates, both realised and projected, had been persistently below levels that were in line with its aim. Accordingly, the Governing Council needed to convey its determination to act if the inflation outlook failed to improve, in line with its commitment to symmetry in the inflation aim. It therefore remained essential to underscore that the Governing Council stood ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moved towards its inflation aim in a sustained manner.

Furthermore, it should be announced that the relevant Eurosystem Committees were being tasked with examining options, including ways to reinforce the Governing Council’s forward guidance on policy rates, mitigating measures, such as the design of a tiered system for reserve remuneration, and options for the size and composition of potential new net asset purchases.

In addition, as heightened uncertainty was likely to extend further into the future, it remained essential to stress that a significant degree of monetary stimulus continued to be necessary to ensure that financial conditions remained very favourable and supported the euro area expansion, the ongoing build-up of domestic price pressures and, thus, headline inflation developments over the medium term.

Finally, it was recalled that in the current situation monetary policy would be more effective if other policy areas contributed to raising the longer-term growth potential. With fiscal policy using available space and accelerated structural reforms, monetary policy would be less at risk of being overburdened and would be able to deploy available instruments more effectively.

Monetary policy decisions and communication

Taking into account the foregoing discussion among the members, on a proposal from the President, the Governing Council decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged. The Governing Council expected the rates to remain at their present or lower levels at least through the first half of 2020, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to its aim over the medium term.

The Governing Council intended to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase programme for an extended period of time past the date when it started raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.

The Governing Council also underlined the need for a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy for a prolonged period of time, as inflation rates, both realised and projected, had been persistently below levels that were in line with its aim. Accordingly, if the medium-term inflation outlook continued to fall short of its aim, the Governing Council was determined to act, in line with its commitment to symmetry in the inflation aim. It therefore stood ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moved towards its aim in a sustained manner.

In this context, the Governing Council was tasking the relevant Eurosystem Committees with examining options, including ways to reinforce its forward guidance on policy rates, mitigating measures, such as the design of a tiered system for reserve remuneration, and options for the size and composition of potential new net asset purchases.

The members of the Governing Council subsequently finalised the introductory statement, which the President and the Vice-President would, as usual, deliver at the press conference following the end of the current Governing Council meeting.

Introductory statement

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pressconf/2019/html/ecb.is190725~547f29c369.en.html

Press release

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2019/html/ecb.mp190725~52d3766c9e.en.html

Meeting of the ECB’s Governing Council, 24-25 July 2019

Members

  • Mr Draghi, President
  • Mr de Guindos, Vice-President
  • Mr Cœuré
  • Mr Costa
  • Mr Herodotou
  • Mr Hernández de Cos
  • Mr Kažimír
  • Mr Knot
  • Mr Lane
  • Ms Lautenschläger
  • Mr Mersch
  • Mr Müller*
  • Mr Nowotny
  • Mr Rehn*
  • Mr Reinesch
  • Mr Rimšēvičs
  • Mr Stournaras
  • Mr Vasiliauskas
  • Mr Vasle
  • Mr Vella
  • Mr Villeroy de Galhau
  • Mr Visco
  • Mr Weidmann*
  • Mr Wunsch*

* Members not holding a voting right in July 2019 under Article 10.2 of the Statute of the ESCB.

Other attendees

  • Mr Dombrovskis, Commission Vice-President**
  • Mr Teixeira, Secretary, Director General Secretariat
  • Mr Smets, Secretary for monetary policy, Director General Economics
  • Mr Winkler, Deputy Secretary for monetary policy, Senior Adviser, DG Economics

** In accordance with Article 284 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Accompanying persons

  • Mr Antunes
  • Mr Aucremanne
  • Mr Bradeško
  • Ms Buch
  • Mr Cassidy
  • Mr Demarco
  • Ms Donnery
  • Mr Gaiotti
  • Ms Goulard
  • Mr Haber
  • Mr Kaasik
  • Mr Kazāks
  • Mr Kroes
  • Mr Kuodis
  • Mr Kyriacou
  • Mr Lünnemann
  • Mr Odór
  • Mr Pérez
  • Mr Tavlas
  • Mr Välimäki

Other ECB staff

  • Ms Graeff, Director General Communications
  • Mr Straub, Counsellor to the President
  • Mr Bindseil, Director General Market Operations
  • Mr Rostagno, Director General Monetary Policy
  • Mr Klöckers, Director General International & European Relations
  • Ms Valla, Deputy Director General Monetary Policy

Release of the next monetary policy account foreseen on Thursday, 10 October 2019.

European Central Bank
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.

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