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European Central Bank policymakers disagree on whether to set a definitive end-date for their money-printing programme when they meet in October, raising the chance that they will keep open at least the option of prolonging it again, six sources told Reuters.
A stubbornly strong euro, with its dampening effect on inflation, is driving a rift among ECB policymakers, the sources on the ECB’s Governing Council with direct knowledge of its thinking said.
The split is between ‘hawks’ -- led by richer, northern countries such as Germany -- who are ready to wind down the 2.3 trillion euros bond-purchase programme and ‘doves’ who simply want to reduce its monthly pace, the sources said.
This is raising the likelihood that they will seek a compromise solution on Oct. 26, whereby any end-date for purchases would not be set in stone, or that they will put off part of the decision until December, the sources added. (Reuters – Continue Reading)
Bleak UK weather curbed consumers in August with retail sales expected to weaken to 0.2pct m/m from 0.4pct in July. Retail sales ex-fuel are also expected to decline to 0.2pct m/m from 0.4pct in July.
Retail sales remained strong in July with increased food volumes driving a consecutive m/m rise following persistent weaker months. However, fuel volumes continued their declining trend falling a further 1.1pct in July from a 2.4pct drop in June.
August's reading is expected to follow the opposite trend, with fuel sales rising while other goods volumes have fallen. However, consumer confidence has remained subdued in August. Despite UK employment hitting growth records, wage growth has remained stagnant. Colder weather and strained real income have weighed on consumption. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
The start of Quantitative Tightening (QT) may be historic, but the US Federal Reserve will continue to tightly choreograph and telegraph its exit from the once-radical, still controversial, Quantitative Easing policy to ensure the change in directive, and habit, will be as boring as possible.
Following its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Wednesday, 20 September, the Fed is widely anticipated to announce an October start date. It’s hoping that the chain-reaction of events, when it begins removing excess liquidity from its balance sheet that ballooned to $4.5 trillion from $900 billion in 2008, will be as exciting as “watching paint dry.”
On rates, all economists polled by Reuters expect no change after rate hikes in March and June 2017, and in December 2016. The Fed funds target range is seen holding at 1.00 pct to 1.25 pct given persistent soft inflation readings, coupled with the beginning of the end of QE, which has kept policy accommodative even in the face of rate hikes, ‘dovish hikes’. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
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