CEO Morning Brief

German Inflation Sinks More Than Expected as Energy Retreats

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Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 08:52 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(Nov 29): German inflation eased more than forecast in November on retreating energy and travel costs, putting the European Central Bank’s (ECB) 2% target within reach.

Consumer prices rose 2.3% from a year ago — down from 3% in October and less than the 2.5% estimated by economists in a Bloomberg survey. They fell 0.7% on the month, with package tours alone responsible for 0.15 percentage point of the decline.

German bonds extended gains, with the yield on two-year debt down seven basis points on the day to 2.85%.

The rally began after Spain earlier on Wednesday reported a similar slowdown in inflation. Data for France, Italy and the 20-nation euro zone are due on Thursday (Nov 30). Inflation in the latter is seen moderating to 2.7% — the lowest level since July 2021.

While providing positive news for the ECB, the figures are unlikely to prompt officials to sound the all-clear as they prepare for their final policy meeting of 2023.

President Christine Lagarde reiterated on Monday that inflation remains too high and has been so for too long. What’s more, price pressures are widely anticipated to pick up again from December as statistical effects play out.

New ECB projections available on Dec 14 will offer insight into how quickly — and sustainably — inflation is likely to return to 2%. That should help policymakers shape their plans for next year, with investors betting on rate cuts as soon as April.

“The November reading should further convince the ECB to leave interest rates unchanged at their next meeting. The bounce in December, alongside upside risks to inflation in the coming months might add to the central bank’s worries about lowering interest rates too quickly,” Martin Ademmer, economist at Bloomberg Economics.

In Germany, Bundesbank president Joachim Nagel has warned against letting up on the inflation fight too soon. Officials can’t assume that price pressures will continue easing as rapidly as they have been during the past year, he said on Tuesday.

Inflation in Europe’s largest economy is set to fluctuate around its current value, the Bundesbank said in its latest monthly report. While food is likely to damp price pressures, services will probably remain a driver and energy may be too on base effects.

Source: TheEdge - 30 Nov 2023

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