When, in September, Mario Draghi mentioned the euro exchange rate as one of the factors likely to influence the ECB’s monetary policy – alongside inflation and growth – few economists took him seriously. The euro’s rally since the spring, along with the obvious risk of a further rise if the ECB tightens monetary policy, meant that some caution was needed and made it acceptable to bend the previously established rule that the ECB bore no responsibility for the euro’s exchange rate. Seven weeks later, there no longer seemed to be any concern about this issue. Not only did eurozone economies, posting very good economic figures, appear to have coped with the euro’s rally, but the Fed had also clarified its strategy, reducing the risk of a further rise in the euro. As a result, the ECB was in theory able to relieve itself of the exchange-rate burden and make a more decisive commitment to bring its policy gradually back to normal.
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