Analysts believe interest rates will not start dropping until the second half of 2024, despite the European Central Bank leaving interest rates unchanged for the first time this year at its meeting on Thursday.
Analysts think interest rates are unlikely to rise again at the moment or, if they do, it would likely be a one-time rise in December.
"The euro area economy is weakening. Inflation has come down quite rapidly and credit volumes have also been hit hard. This should lead to a further downturn, or at least a weakening, of the euro area economy, which will not allow interest rates to rise," Tõnu Mertsina, chief economist at Swedbank Estonia, told "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Thursday.
Rain Leesi from asset management company Avaron said the change in the reference base and the rise in oil prices may still push up inflation at the end of the year.
"The view of the markets today is that we are probably close to, if not at, peak interest rates. There is still a small chance of another rate hike in December, but bond markets are pricing in that rates will remain at their current levels until next spring, and very slow rate cuts from the summer onwards," he said.
Metsina said the general expectation is that interest rates will start to fall next summer. "But with the Euro area economy weak and inflation now coming down fast, interest rates could start to come down sooner," he said.
Peeter Koppel, head of investments at Redgate Wealth, said: "If they do fall, they will fall a little. The market currently assumes that not before the second half of 2024, and even then this decline will be relatively slow. Of course, a lot depends on the economy of the Eurozone. If it falls into a major recession, then this approach will be reversed, but it's too early to talk about it yet."
Leesi added: "Today, bond markets are pricing in base rates of around 3.4 percent by the end of next year, implying an interest rate cut of around half a percent."
But analysts doubt whether rate rises are gone for good.
"Today it is too early to say we have beaten inflation. Today, while goods inflation has fallen very significantly, services inflation, driven mainly by wage growth, remains quite high, and so it may not be easy for the ECB to lower these rates in the near term," said Leesi.
Koppel said the inflation problem may turn out to be long-running. Looking at the underlying inflation in many developed countries, it is not receded.
Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera