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ECB back to easing again, but inflation still not in its grip - poll

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ECB back to easing again, but inflation still not in its grip - poll

ECB back to easing again, but inflation still not in its grip - poll

The European Central Bank will cut its deposit rate next week and announce a restart of its asset purchase programme.

But most economists polled by Reuters are sceptical about its ability to shape the inflation outlook.

David Pollard reports.


ECB back to easing again, but inflation still not in its grip - poll

A week to its next policy meeting, and a majority of economists in a Reuters poll believe the ECB could cut rates.

Even restart a QE programme it wound up less than a year ago.

But: should it?

Eight out of ten surveyed were sceptical about its ability to influence inflation.

Despite already pumping 2.6 trillion euros into the economy, a euro zone rate of one per cent currently is around half the ECB target.

And Germany faces the threat of imminent recession.

Germany's banks are sceptical too.

With interest rates already below zero, they paid the ECB 2.4 billion euros - around $2.7 billion - to hold cash in 2018.

And on Wednesday, the boss of the biggest of all - Christian Sewing of Deutsche Bank - made his views plain.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) DEUTSCHE BANK CEO, CHRISTIAN SEWING, SAYING: "Macroeconomically, a further rate cut at the current level will fizzle out.

It will only push asset prices further up and burden savers." If the criticism is a headache for ECB president Mario Draghi, it may become one too for the ECB's probable next chief, Christine Lagarde, if and when she takes over in November.

The IMF grandee also aired her priorities over ECB policy on Wednesday (September 4) - to a session of the European Parliament.

SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT NOMINEE, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "First, that the impact of unconventional policies continue to be net positive, we need to be mindful of the negative effects and the potential side effects of those policies and we have to take the concerns of the people into account." Policy should continue to be 'highly accommodative', she said.

But will also needs to take into account global challenges like climate change.

The comments a signal of a shift in focus from economic storm clouds, to the mounting threat posed by real ones.

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