It wasn’t hard to predict that the January 2020 Governing Council meeting would be a snoozer and that we would learn next to nothing from this meeting about near-term policy. There was a cosmetic upgrade of the inflation assessment which was in line with our own recent commentary on underlying inflation, namely that it indeed is grinding higher. And with the Phase 1 trade deal signed, predictably the ECB sees risks to the outlook as less worrisome. Then again, President Lagarde hedged her bets by saying that the ECB is watching if trade isn’t diverted from Europe to the US. In other words: all self-evident stuff. Still, Lagarde, who gave her second press conference since taking over from Draghi, did in fact finally reveal a bit about her views on monetary policy.
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