Why Has ECB’s Very Accommodative Monetary Policy Not Yet Triggered a Rebound of Investment?

15-06-2016

The European Central Bank has adopted a series of unconventional monetary policy measures to combat the financial crisis and ward off the risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation. The policy package has led to a tangible improvement in borrowing conditions for both households and firms. Sovereign bond rates have reached record low levels even at relative long maturities in several euro-area countries. In theory lower financing costs should support consumption and investment via the increase in bank lending and bond or stock issuance. In practice the main beneficiaries of ECB very accommodative monetary policy seem to be for governments via lower interest payments, while the effects on private spending and, in particular, capital formation have been limited, so far.

The European Central Bank has adopted a series of unconventional monetary policy measures to combat the financial crisis and ward off the risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation. The policy package has led to a tangible improvement in borrowing conditions for both households and firms. Sovereign bond rates have reached record low levels even at relative long maturities in several euro-area countries. In theory lower financing costs should support consumption and investment via the increase in bank lending and bond or stock issuance. In practice the main beneficiaries of ECB very accommodative monetary policy seem to be for governments via lower interest payments, while the effects on private spending and, in particular, capital formation have been limited, so far.