German consumer prices accelerated at the fastest pace in three and a half years in January, leaving the ECB running out of excuses to maintain (or even extend) its stimulus measures.
As Bloomberg notes, consumer prices rose 1.9 percent from a year ago, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Monday. That’s up from 1.7 percent the previous month and the highest rate since July 2013, though below the median estimate of 2 percent in a Bloomberg survey. Prices slid 0.8 percent from December.
The surge in German inflation since the end of last year is a potential political flashpoint in the country, which faces elections in September, as savers remain burdened with near-zero deposit rates. Calls are mounting for the ECB to start talks over winding down its bond-buying program, which is scheduled to run until at least the end of this year, though policy makers have generally urged caution until it’s clear price increases are being sustained in the euro area as a whole.
Simply put, the 'union' continues to creek under the one policy...
“Monetary policy can’t just cater to one country but to the entire euro-zone economy,” Ewald Nowotny, governor of Austria’s central bank said on Monday in Vienna before the data were published. “German developments are watched, but they are just a part.”
Nowotny said that while the ECB’s Governing Council will “surely” have to take a decision on the future of quantitative easing before the end of 2017, he doesn’t expect that to happen until after the summer.
And remember, Draghi already laid out the cost of exiting Europe, which in the case of Germany (and GERexit) is one in which the entire union owes them...