The Eurozone fell into recession in Q3, according to official gross domestic product data published Thursday.
Eurozone GDP shrank 0.1% from Q2, a 0.6% year-on-year drop. Germany and France both grew 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, while Italy’s economy shrank by 0.2%. Spain’s economy also contracted, shrinking 0.3% in the three months to end September, while in the Netherland GDP fell by 1.1% during Q3.
Eurozone inflation meantime fell to 2.5% in October, down from 2.6% a month earlier, consumer price index figures published by Eurostat show.
The European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions program, under which the ECB proposes to buy sovereign debt in the secondary market, “will not lead to inflation”, ECB president Mario Draghi told an audience at the Università Bocconi in Milan this morning.
“For every Euro we inject, we will withdraw a Euro,” said Draghi. “In our assessment, the greater risk to price stability currently is associated with the possibility of falling prices in some Euro area countries.”
Prices for German bonds ticked lower this morning, as did prices for longer dated US Treasury bonds while longer-dated UK gilts saw gains.
Federal Reserve policymakers meantime discussed the use of using quantitative economic thresholds to communicate their outlook on policy when they met last month, minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee published Wednesday show.
The Fed has said it will buy $40 billion of mortgage backed securities a month until there is a “substantial improvement” in the US labor market, although it has not defined what that means. The Fed is also due to continue with its maturity program known as Operation Twist, which attempts to ‘flatten’ the yield curve for US Treasury bonds, until it expires at the end of this year.
“Looking ahead,” the FOMC minutes say, “a number of participants indicated that additional asset purchases would likely be appropriate next year after the conclusion of the maturity extension program in order to achieve a substantial improvement in the labor market.”