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Centeno spoke on Friday and he conveyed the message that while he though a March ECB rate cut is unlikely, policymakers must be open to it.

  • “March is the date when we have the largest amount of new data in front of us — some data may tell us to discuss interest rate cuts as soon as March”
  • “I’m not saying that it is likely, but we have to be open”
  • “We need to look at the data”
  • “Inflation has been consistently below our forecasts in recent months — and growth as well … This is a sign that the downside risks that we identified in the last two forecasts have materialized”

This is dovish stuff from Centeno, the head of Banco de Portugal and thus a member of the European Central Bank Govenring Council.

The March meeting is next week.

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