It is unsurprising that the ECB is not ignoring further steps in its tapering (or recalibration) process. Phrases [in the minutes] indicate a further adjustment but in our view no abrupt end.
We stick to our previous view that the ECB will not stop QE in September but will rather decide on another “lower for longer” beyond September, probably until the end of the year. Interestingly, the ECB is more and more focusing on growth and seems to regard inflation only as a derivative of growth developments. Judging from previous experiences, to get an inflation rate sustainably at around 2%, the Eurozone economy needs to have a positive output gap. This could, but does not necessarily have to, happen in the course of 2018.
It is also obvious that the ECB’s balancing act between uniting the Governing Council and not distorting markets on the rest of the way towards the exit is a difficult one. While the ECB had actually tried to hush speculation with the October decision for “lower for longer”, some ECB officials’ talks are clearly undermining this intention. In this regards, next week should be interesting when both Jens “the hawk” Weidmann and Benoit “first proponent now advocate for a September end” Coeure will have public appearances.
Source : https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2018/jan/11/christmas-tesco-marks-and-spencer-john-lewis-retail-stock-markets