Thursday's ECB meeting left interest rates unchanged. According to ECB president Draghi rate changes were not even discussed. While there was not much news from the ECB on the sovereign debt crisis and Greek PSI, the ECB's brought back some gentle anti-inflation rhetorics. It looks as if the ECB has lost this its sense of fear.
The macro-economic assessment changed quite significantly compared with the February meeting; very cautious language has been replaced by a moderately cautious language. Words like "tentative" and "high uncertainty" disappeared from the ECB's introductory statement. The recent improvement of confidence indicators seems to have comforted the ECB, while at the same time still stressing downside risks. Article by Carsten Brzeski, Senior Economist, ING Belgium