March 10, 2017 – Mario Draghi struck optimistic tone when speaking about the Eurozone economy in the ECB’s press conference yesterday. Although the key ECB interest rates and expansive monetary policies were left unchanged, he noted:
“Since 2015 real GDP growth has been steady at between 0.3 and 0.6% quarter-on-quarter. The Economic Sentiment Index in February this year is the highest since 2011. The PMI composite output index, again this February 2017, is the highest since April 2011. The unemployment rate in January was 9.6%; it's the lowest since May 2009.[…] I would say that risks of deflation have largely disappeared. […] The financing conditions and credit demand have continued to improve. Lending rates for households and companies have declined significantly by more than our key interest rates.”
As far as future expectations are concerned:
“Incoming data, notably survey results, increase our confidence that the ongoing economic expansion will continue to firm and broaden. The pass-through of our monetary policy measures is supporting domestic demand and facilitates the ongoing deleveraging process. The recovery in investment continues to be promoted by very favourable financing conditions and improvements in corporate profitability. Moreover, rising employment, which is also benefiting from past structural reforms, is having a positive impact on households’ real disposable income, thereby providing support for private consumption.”
- The speech’s transcript is available from the ECB.