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On September 12th, the European Central Bank (“ECB”) — headed by departing President Mario Draghi — passed a major stimulus package fueled by a key interest rate cut and a large bond repurchase program. The ECB deposit facility rate, which is used by banks to make overnight deposits, was lowered 10 basis points to -0.5%, a new record low. The newly approved quantitative easing program is set to begin on November 1st. It will involve the ECB buying over 20 billion euros worth of Eurozone government bonds on a monthly basis with the intention of increasing the money supply, thereby lowering interest rates and encouraging growth.
Though this move by the ECB did not receive unanimous approval by voting members, it was implemented with the hopes of stemming an increased slowdown in Europe and fighting against the threat of recession. One indicator of the Eurozone slowdown has been PMI numbers, which dropped again in September, remaining in contraction territory. This trend began at the start of 2018 with the crossover into negative growth occurring early this year.
Similar though slightly better numbers have been seen in the United States over the past few months, and it is widely expected that the Fed will continue monetary easing by cutting rates one more time in 2019, either at the end of this month or the end of the year. As trade tensions and market uncertainties persist, the ECB, Federal Reserve, and central banks across the world are fighting to maintain growth and avoid a global recession.
The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.
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