Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

ECB slashes growth forecasts, door open to rate cuts  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 06/12/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - AFP) The European Central Bank slashed its eurozone growth forecasts Thursday, keeping the door open to more interest rates cuts, even as it insisted it was up to governments to solve the debt crisis.

As widely expected, the ECB's decision-making governing council voted to leave the bank's main refinancing rate at a historic low of 0.75 percent at its last policy meeting this year.

But ECB chief Mario Draghi -- who last month had said further rate cuts were not discussed at all -- revealed there had been "wide discussion" of such a move this time round and the decision was anything but unanimous.

Nevertheless, "in the end the prevailing consensus was to leave the rates unchanged," the Italian central banker said.

The 23-member governing council traditionally likes any decisions to be unanimous or, failing that, by consensus.

And with economic gloom deepening over the 17 countries that share the euro, many ECB watchers believe there is room for additional monetary easing, even if none of them had predicted a cut in the bank's refi rate at this month's meeting.

The bank might be persuaded to act if economic prospects continu to deteriorate, analysts argued.

And the outlook looks gloomy indeed.

In its regular quarterly staff economic projections, the ECB forecast that the eurozone economy will contract both this year and next year and only return to growth in 2014.

According to the updated forecasts, the euro area economy is set to shrink by 0.5 percent in 2012 rather than by 0.4 percent as predicted earlier.

And it would shrink again by 0.3 percent in 2013, instead of growing by 0.5 percent.

Only in 2014 would the economy grow again, by an estimated 1.2 percent, the forecasts said.

The ECB governing council "continues to see downside risks to the economic outlook for the euro area," Draghi said.

"Over the shorter term, weak activity is expected to extend into next year."

Nevertheless, a gradual recovery should start "later" in 2013 as the ECB's low interest rate policy and rising market confidence fed through into household spending, while a strengthening of foreign demand should support export growth, he argued.

Thus, the ball was very much in the governments' court to solve the two-year-old crisis, Draghi insisted.

By cutting interest rates and launching a raft of anti-crisis measures the ECB had "already done much that is needed," he said, even if he refused to explicitly rule out additional action further down the line.

"In order to sustain confidence, it is essential for governments to reduce further both fiscal and structural imbalances and to proceed with financial sector restructuring," he insisted.

A number of ECB watchers said they still expected the central bank to lower its rates early next year if the economy deteriorated still further.

"The ECB appears to have the door open for an interest rate cut, and we expect it to step through early in 2013," said Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight.

"With the eurozone clearly facing a difficult fourth quarter and beyond after moving into modest recession in the third quarter, and with the underlying inflation situation in the Eurozone looking relatively benign, we believe that the ECB has ample justification and scope to take interest rates down from 0.75 percent to 0.50 percent sooner rather than later," he said.

But others were not so sure.

Draghi "was quite clear that no further monetary policy action is to be expected in the near future," said Marie Diron at Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast.

Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer said he "would forecast a lower refi rate if leading economic indicators declined in contrast to our expectations."

ING Belgium economist Carsten Brzeski felt that the fact that the ECB kept rates on hold "even after these strong downward revisions for growth and inflation in our view shows that the ECB prefers to stimulate the economy with non-standard measures and not with additional rate cuts."

A rate cut "might not entirely be off the table but would require an even worse weakening of the economy," Brzeski said.


 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Qatar- QFC Authority Five-a-Side Football Tournament Kicks Off ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority's first Five-a-side Football Tournament is displaying dribbling skills of executives from Doha's financial ...

Apr 24 2014Georgian Justice Minister Leaves Doha ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - HE Minister of Justice of Georgia Tia Tsulukiana left Doha on Thursday morning wrapping up a two-day official visit to the country. An agreement on ...

Apr 24 2014Egyptian Premier Off to Chad ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib left cairo on Thursday for Chad the first leg of a three-day two-state trip that will also take him to Tanzania ...

Apr 24 2014Australian Federal Parliament Deputy Speaker Meets HE Qatari Ambassador ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Canberra April 24 - Australian Federal Parliament Deputy Speaker Bruce Scott met here Thursday with HE Qatar's Ambassador to Australia Yousef bin Ali Al ...

Apr 24 20143 GCC countries among top 30 on network readiness index ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) According to an annual global technology survey for network readiness index for 2014, three GCC countries have made it to the top 30 list for the third year in a row, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Morocco Admitted As Observer Member to SICA ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) La Romana Dominican April 24 - Morocco has been admitted as an observer member in the Central American Integration System (SICA) which also includes each of Belize ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Stock Exchange Down 0.05% ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - The Qatar Exchange ended in the red area when trading closed Thursday at 12954.93 points (0.05%) down 6.63 points from the previous closing of 12961.56 ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Border area ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Gaza April 24 - Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip witnesses said. The tanks crossed into Gaza in an area called ...

Apr 24 2014President Salva Kiir Relieves his Chief of the General Staff ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Juba April 24 -South Sudanese President Salva Kiir relieved Chief of the General Staff of south sudan army James Hoth Mai. This came in a presidential decree aired ...

Apr 24 2014UN Chief: All Parties in Syria Blocking Aid ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) w York April 24 - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of ...

Apr 24 2014Omani non-oil exports to enter African markets ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the Sultanate is seeking expansion in new African markets, in a time it is looking forward to reduce its ...

Apr 24 2014US Secretary of State Meets Egyptian Intelligence Chief ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) shington April 24 - US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the Egyptian Intelligence Chief Major General Mohammed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami who is currently ...

Apr 24 2014Egypt's Interim President Receives Phone Call from South African President ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour has received a telephone call from President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma in which they discussed ...

Apr 24 2014Sharjah Ladies Club organizes "Sharjah Ladies run" at the University City ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Sharjah Ladies Club gears up to launch "Sharjah Ladies run" at the Sharjah University City. With over 250 participants, the activity aims to encourage women and enable them to ...

Apr 24 2014Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise to address the network application challenge with new access switch, added analytics and SDN capabilities ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Enterprise division of Alcatel-Lucent recently unveiled new technology to address the challenges created by pervasive mobility and the explosion of new applications being ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- HH Sheikha Moza Meets Mayor of Kobe Visits RIKEN Research Institution ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kobe April 24 - Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF) today held a meeting with the ...

Apr 24 2014UAE's Jumeirah to expand portfolio in Dubai ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) UAE's Jumeirah Group is planning to add additional hotels to its Dubai portfolio in the following 6 years, Arabian Business reported. The luxury hotelier's president and group CEO said ...

Apr 24 2014Aqaba Container Terminal Contributes to Elevating Standards of Pre-School Education ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), the world's gateway to Jordan and beyond, recently held a charity dinner in collaboration with the Aqaba Intercontinental Hotel. The event, held at the ...

Apr 24 2014The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Transfroms its Brand Identity ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) (http://www.jse.co.za) revealed its new brand which demonstrates the bourse's identity as a modern African marketplace that connects investors to ...

Apr 24 2014Children encouraged to love books at the Sharjah Childrens Reading Festival ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) "You can always find the time to read if you put your mind to it." With these words, Fatima Al Bishr encouraged a group of fourth grade students to pick up reading as a hobby. The ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help