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The Tell: Here’s the case for an unexpected tweak to the ECB’s policy guidance

The European Central Bank is widely expected to leave rates and its policy statement unchanged when it meets Thursday, but at least one economist is making the case for a hawkish surprise.

A Bloomberg survey of economists conducted on March 2 found that just under 40% expected the ECB to tweak its statement. Since then, the Italian election results and U.S. President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on trade have likely pushed that expectation well below 40%, argued Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note.

Say goodbye to ‘beyond’

Vistesen is among the minority. He expects the ECB to leave rates unchanged but argued that policy makers are likely to remove its policy-statement reference to continuing the bank’s net asset purchases “beyond” September if necessary.

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