Quantitative easing: the oft-ignored long-term...
Aykut Efe, Economist at BCEE Asset Management, discusses the potential impacts of quantitative easing on the real economy in the long term.
Growth remains solid in the US: it is being driven by domestic consumption and public spending, but slowed by private investment and exports. The tariff war is disrupting international trade flows. As a result, companies baulk at making investments. It is, however, not unreasonable to remain optimistic: the US economy will stay on track this year.
Unemployment is historically low (3,7%), wages are growing and inflation remains subdued.
In Europe, economic growth is faltering, boosted by domestic demand but slowed by exports. Growth in the region has fallen from an annual average of 2,3% to 1,1% at the end of the second quarter of 2019. Within the EU, Eastern European countries are setting themselves apart: their average annual growth rate is now 3,5% (Baltic states), while growth rates in Hungary, Poland and Romania exceed 4%. In the North, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland are doing well. The situation of the major economies is more mixed: France is doing reasonably well, while Germany has fallen back into negative territory.
We should see this approach as a preventive measure. The idea behind this cut in interest rates is to preserve accommodative financial conditions and prevent them from tightening as a result of the heightened volatility on the financial markets. If we cast our minds back to the beginning of 2019, many analysts forecast several interest rate hikes, but the ongoing weakness of inflation and doubts created by trade tensions have prompted central banks to fundamentally change their discourse.
The Fed implemented two 25 basis points cuts, and the trend points to another downwards movement, if any. In addition, given that the effect of monetary policy on the real economy is subject to a delay of several months, waiting for the economy to deteriorate before acting would have been counter-productive.Marc Fohr