The major development in yesterday’s European Central Bank policy meeting was a significant downgrade to the ECB’s staff projections for GDP growth and inflation in the euro area over the course of 2013.
Since the ECB introduced it’s “Outright Monetary Transactions” (OMT) bond market intervention program in August, market volatility has been almost completely muted, and sovereign bond yields have fallen steadily throughout the course of the second half of the year. Concurrently, European stocks have been on a tear.
These two developments have put the euro crisis conversation squarely in the growth arena. The common line is that the ECB’s OMT pledge has sufficiently removed tail risks from financial markets for the foreseeable future. This, then, should allow policymakers to focus their full attention on measures aimed at reviving economic growth in the euro area.