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INTERVIEW

The greatest challenge of the 21st century

In an interview on climate change and inflation, Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel stresses that the ECB is obliged to act on climate change to fulfill its mandate. In spite of rising inflation, there remain concerns about medium-term inflation being too low rather than too high.

Interview
THE ECB BLOG 19 August 2021

Forward guidance following the strategy review

Our revised forward guidance is a fundamental step in fulfilling our commitment to 2% inflation, writes Chief Economist Philip R. Lane. He also discusses the three conditions that should be met before interest rates are raised.

Blog post
PODCAST 16 August 2021

A walk around the wildlife park

Hawks, doves, owls, swans, bulls and bears… even ostriches. What connects these animals to central banking? How can they help us find our way around the world of economics and finance? Our host Katie Ranger talks about these questions with our communications adviser Gabriel Glöckler.

The ECB Podcast
EXPLAINERS 28 July 2021

What is the PEPP?

The pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) was introduced in March 2020 to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. It lowers borrowing costs and increases bank lending in the euro area to help people and businesses to weather the crisis. But how does it work?

Explainer
22 July 2021
Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, Frankfurt am Main, 22 July 2021
14 July 2021
Speech by Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the virtual Financial Statements series hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics
Annexes
14 July 2021
11 July 2021
Speech by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the International Climate Change Conference in Venice
8 July 2021
Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, Frankfurt am Main, 8 July 2021
3 July 2021
Speech by Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Petersberger Sommerdialog
Annexes
3 July 2021
21 August 2021
Interview with Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Carla Neuhaus on 17 August and published on 20 August 2021
English
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29 July 2021
Interview with Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, conducted by Frank Wiebe and Jan Mallien
English
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29 July 2021
Interview with Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Federico Fubini
English
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13 July 2021
Interview with Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, conducted by Martin Arnold on 11 July 2021
10 July 2021
Interview with Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Patrick Bernau and Dennis Kremer on 8 July and published on 10 July 2021
English
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19 August 2021
Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
Details
Summary
Our revised forward guidance is a fundamental step in fulfilling our commitment to 2% inflation, writes Chief Economist Philip R. Lane. He also discusses the three conditions that should be met before interest rates are raised.
27 July 2021
Blog post by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
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Summary
If we make the recovery fund work and if we embed the lessons from the pandemic in the EMU governance framework, we can emerge from the crisis with a stronger economy and greater social and political cohesion, says Executive Board member Fabio Panetta in The ECB Blog.
14 July 2021
Blog post by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
Details
Summary
We have decided to launch a project to prepare for possibly issuing a digital euro. A digital euro will be successful if it adds value for people, merchants and financial intermediaries in the euro area, explains Executive Board member Fabio Panetta in The ECB Blog.
11 May 2021
Blog post by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
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Summary
Climate change and sustainability are global challenges that require global solutions, especially in the financial sector, writes Executive Board member Fabio Panetta. We need international disclosure standards and principles to categorise sustainable activities.
1 April 2021
Blog post by Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
Details
Summary
The recent volatility of inflation can largely be attributed to the nature of the pandemic shock, writes Chief Economist Philip R. Lane. The increase in inflation during early 2021 does not constitute the basis for a sustained shift in inflation dynamics.
23 August 2021
SURVEY OF MONETARY ANALYSTS
9 August 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2584
Details
Abstract
We compare the findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). We find that central bank papers find QE to be more effective than academic papers do. Central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. They also report QE effects on output that are more significant, both statistically and economically, and they use more positive language in the abstract. Central bank researchers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks reveals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.
JEL Code
A11 : General Economics and Teaching→General Economics→Role of Economics, Role of Economists, Market for Economists
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
9 August 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2583
Details
Abstract
The link between US labor cost and price inflation has weakened notably over the past three decades. In this paper we document this decline and analyse potential contributing factors. We consider four important trends that have shaped the US economy of late: (i) improved anchoring of inflation expectations; (ii) the changing constellation of shocks hitting the economy; (iii) increased trade integration and (iv) rising firm market power. We find that the improved anchoring of inflation expectations has played a particularly relevant role but also that the latter two trends offer promising avenues to understand the decline in pass-through from labor cost to price inflation. Our results also bring supportive evidence to the view taken by the FED in the context of its monetary policy strategy review that a robust job market can be sustained without causing an outbreak of inflation.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
6 August 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2582
Details
Abstract
This paper investigates the impact of ECB communication of its assessment of the economic outlook on ex-ante inflation uncertainty and sheds light on how central bank information shocks operate. The paper finds that ECB communication of new outlook information not only reduces professional forecasters’ disagreement (i.e., the cross-sectional dispersion of their average point forecasts of inflation) but also makes forecasters less uncertain about their own beliefs, thus reducing ex-ante average individual uncertainty. By combining and exploiting these types of ex-ante inflation uncertainty, results suggest that central bank information acts as a “coordination device” able to influence opinions and actions. Most importantly, it generates a “stabilizer effect” by substantially decreasing the dispersion among the inflation point forecasts, which converge towards their unconditional aggregate mean. The results of this paper not only help to explain the impact of new central bank information, but they are also useful for policymakers to define a communication strategy that attenuates ex-ante inflation uncertainty in the most effective way.
JEL Code
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E65 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
6 August 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2581
Details
Abstract
This paper shows how the combined endogenous reaction of banks and investment funds to an exogenous shock can amplify or dampen losses to the financial system compared to results from single-sector stress testing models. We build a new model of contagion propagation using a very large and granular data set for the euro area. Based on the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, we model three sources of exogenous shocks: a default shock, a market shock and a redemption shock. Our contagion mechanism operates through a dual channel of liquidity and solvency risk. The joint modelling of banks and funds provides new insights for the assessment of financial stability risks. Our analysis reveals that adding the fund sector to our model for banks leads to additional losses through fire sales and a further depletion of banks’ capital ratios by around one percentage point.
JEL Code
D85 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Network Formation and Analysis: Theory
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
L14 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Transactional Relationships, Contracts and Reputation, Networks
5 August 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN
5 August 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2021
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Abstract
This article details the rationale and thinking behind the ECB’s new monetary policy strategy, which was published on 8 July 2021, and its main elements. While the mandate is conferred upon the ECB by the Treaties, the ECB has to devise its monetary policy strategy. This strategy sets out how to achieve the primary objective of maintaining price stability in the euro area, referring to an appropriate set of monetary policy instruments, indicators and intermediate targets, as well as how to take into account other considerations without prejudice to price stability. A monetary policy strategy serves two main purposes: first, it provides policymakers with a coherent analytical framework that maps actual or expected economic developments into policy decisions, second, it serves as a vehicle for communicating with the public. The ECB’s monetary policy strategy was last reviewed in 2003 and the changes that have since occurred to the economic and financial backdrop as well as to the predominant policy challenges warranted an update.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
5 August 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2021
Details
Abstract
This box studies the potential consequences of the ongoing shift away from defined benefit (DB) towards defined contribution (DC) products in the insurance and pension fund (ICPF) sector. In view of the different risks associated with these products, their portfolio allocations differ, with DB products being more heavily invested in long-duration fixed-income assets. Given the sizeable amount of ICPFs’ assets under management, the move from DB to DC products can reduce the demand for these assets, potentially having profound effects on the financial system and the economy. Such effects may include a steeper yield curve, a boost to equity financing, and more uncertainty in the build-up of retirement savings.
JEL Code
G22 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Insurance, Insurance Companies, Actuarial Studies
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
H55 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→Social Security and Public Pensions
E34 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
5 August 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2021
Details
Abstract
The recent marked increases in the cost of commodities, raw materials and intermediate products have so far led to only limited upward pressures on consumer goods inflation. Looking ahead, upward pressures on non-energy industrial goods (NEIG) inflation from recent global developments in these input costs are expected to strengthen, as the pass-through generally takes more than one year. How visible and strong the impact on NEIG inflation might be will depend on how persistent the global input cost shocks ultimately are.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
Q02 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→General→Global Commodity Markets
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
5 August 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2021
Details
Abstract
More than a year after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, euro area stock prices have risen close to all-time highs, mainly driven by a recovery in earnings expectations. However, COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns have left a larger and longer-lasting mark on some companies than on others. Indeed, earnings expectations have become more heterogeneous across sectors, in line with expectations of an uneven recovery. This stands in sharp contrast with the developments during the Global Financial Crisis, when cross-sectoral dispersion first dropped and then normalised.Empirical analysis suggests that cross-sectoral dispersion in 12-month earnings per share forecasts has increased with each tightening of lockdown measures. At the same time, the start of vaccination campaigns has been a game changer: since the vaccine rollout began in late 2020, more stringent lockdown measures have added far less to the dispersion in earnings expectations.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates

Interest rates

Marginal lending facility 0.25 %
Main refinancing operations (fixed rate) 0.00 %
Deposit facility − 0.50 %
18 September 2019 Past key ECB interest rates

Inflation rate

Inflation dashboard

Reference rates

USD US dollar 1.1671
JPY Japanese yen 127.97
GBP Pound sterling 0.85750
CHF Swiss franc 1.0711
Last update: Friday, 20 August 2021 Euro foreign exchange rates