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ANALYSIS: "The Riksbank can probably kiss the interest rate hike goodbye"

2019-09-12T15:26:46.677Z

The European Central Bank has consolidated the image that we will live with record low interest rates for a long time to come. And the Riksbank can probably bid farewell at the end of the year.


There was a symbolic reduction in the European Central Bank's deposit rate by 0.10 percentage points to -0.50 per cent.

The ECB also promised to buy back bonds again, to pump out money in the system for the equivalent of SEK 200 billion per year. The ECB is increasingly concerned about the economy of the euro zone countries, and in particular Germany, which may now be entering a recession.

Low interest rates to wait far in the future

What got many to put their milk coffee in Frankfurt was a forward-looking statement made by the ECB that they now expect to continue with the low interest rate, or lower, until inflation reaches up to 2 percent.

Read: we will meet these low interest rates for a very long time.

At the same time, the ECB also sought to support the struggling European banking sector, especially the Italian one, by not applying negative interest rates on certain banking transactions.

Sweden and the low krone exchange rate

Here in Sweden, the Riksbank has mainly used a low krone exchange rate to import inflation through what we buy from abroad.

And the Riksbank maintained as late as last week that they would raise interest rates at the end of the year. While the Swedish economy is stronger than the average euro member, and the krona is at a very low level, more and more figures are now in conflict with the Riksbank's optimism.

Both inflation - adjusted for low interest costs - CPI and inflation expectations are falling. In addition, it seems that the Swedish economy, from a very high level, is slowing down. It can also make it more difficult for the Riksbank to reach its single target; a lasting inflation of 2 percent.

The Riksbank pressed

So all this, together with the ECB's message, puts pressure on the Riksbank. Their ambition to raise interest rates at the end of the year feels incredibly remote.

The big questions now are how much the central banks can actually achieve with incentives and interest rate cuts to speed up the economy. The interest rate is already minus and the amount of bonds purchased is huge. And what the governments of the euro zone and Sweden are responsible for if the economic cycle goes down significantly.

Unlike the outgoing Mario Draghi's famed statement from 2012 "We'll do whatever it takes" says incoming manager Christine Lagarde, "We can't be the only game in town". And pass the ball on to the politicians.

Source: svt

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