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ECB Keep everything on hold – focus back on Inflation data for ECB’s next move.

Interest rates and non-standard policy measures, including €30bn a month of bond purchases until at least the end of September, were left unchanged by the ECB Governing Council yesterday, as expected. The next meeting on June 14th will provide an opportunity for policymakers to assess new economic forecasts and to decide on whether to change the forward guidance on asset purchases and interest rates.

In the meantime, the evolution of economic growth and inflation will be important in assessing risks to that central scenario. Should the current economic soft patch turn out to be longer lasting and/or if underlying inflation fails to move sustainably higher, then it is conceivable that there will be a delay to plans for a gradual withdrawal of policy stimulus. That could include an extension of asset purchases into 2019.