Factbox-ECB policymakers focus on June for first rate cut

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 6:44 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers have started contemplating interest rate cuts and most of the public commentary points to an initial move in June, to be followed by further steps later this year.

The following is a compilation of key policymaker quotes on the timing of the ECB’s next rate change.

Luis de Guindos, ECB Vice President, March 19

“We haven’t yet discussed anything about future rate moves. We need to gather more information. In June we will also have our new projections and we will be ready to discuss this.”

Klaas Knot, Dutch central bank Governor, March 14

“Personally I pencilled in June for a first rate cut. Where will we take it from there? We are data dependent, so I would focus on those meetings in which we have most data available, which are the meetings in which we have new projections, so September and December.”

“Does that rule out non-projection meetings? No. If data tells us we should do more, then the interim meetings should be available. But my prime inclination would be to focus on the projection meetings.”

Pablo Hernandez de Cos, Spanish central bank Governor, March 17

“If our macroeconomic forecasts are met in the coming months, it is normal that we will start cutting rates soon and June could be a good date to start.”

Philip Lane, ECB chief economist, March 14

“I wouldn’t overanalyse April versus June.”

“I think that Q2 is a time when we will be far enough into 2024 to see more of the wage dynamic to see more of the price pressures. So we will learn some more by April we will learn a lot more by June.”

Peter Kazimir, Slovak central bank Governor, March 11

“We will learn a bit more in April, but only in June, with new forecasts at hand, will the level of confidence reach the threshold.”

“The current picture clearly favours staying calm for the coming weeks and delivering the first rate cut in summer.”

Yannis Stournaras, Greek central bank Governor, March 14

“We need to start cutting rates soon so that our monetary policy does not become too restrictive.”

“I think to cut rates already in April we will need to see the economy crashing and I don’t expect that.”

“It is appropriate to do two rate cuts before the summer break, and four moves throughout the year seem reasonable.”

Gabriel Makhlouf, Irish central bank Governor, March 15

“My current view is that the picture should be sufficiently clearer when the Governing Council meets in June — as we will have a lot more information – particularly on wage dynamics – available in our deliberations — to give us sufficient confidence to make monetary less restrictive.”

Olli Rehn, Finnish central bank Governor, March 16

“My view is that it is time to start easing off the brakes on the monetary policy pedal this summer.

“After June, there are still several meetings and decisions will be made meeting by meeting. If inflation is sustainably stabilizing at 2%… then we will have the conditions for several interest rate cuts this year.

Francois Villeroy de Galhau, French central bank Governor, March 13

“The consequences we, at the European Central Bank, should draw is probably to cut rates in the spring and I remind you that in France and Europe this is a season that lasts from April to June 21.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)