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ECB QE Monitor - March 2020


The Eurosystem started its QE in March 2015.

The main episodes have been:


  • March 9 2015 (decision to purchase €60 bn of assets per month until Sept. 2016),
  • December 3 2015 (decision to extend the QE it until March 2017),
  • March 10 2016 (decision to increase monthly purchases from €60 bn to €80 bn from April 2016)
  • December 8 2016 (decision to extend the QE until December 2017 at a reduced monthly pace of €60bn).
  • October 26 2017 (decision to extend the QE until September 2018 at a reduced monthly pace of €30bn)
  • June 14 2018 (decision to announced the end of QE in December 2018)
  • October 30 2019 (with the arrival of Christine Lagarde replacing Mario Draghi, decision announced to restart its QE: purchase €20bn of assets per month without end date)



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Key points for this month:

· ECB programs: €1000bn of purchasing power by the end of 2020 or €110bn/month

  • APP (Asset Purchase Programme) : 20 billion euros per month and a temporary envelope of €120bn euros spread over March-December.
  • PEPP (Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme): €750bn spread over April-December.

· The ECB is accelerating the pace of asset purchases

  • In March, the ECB bought €66.5bn of assets :

- APP (€20bn +€31.1bn) and PEPP (€15.4bn).

  • In recent days, the ECB has accelerated its pace of purchases.  

- The ECB spent €30.2bn in the first 7 days of its PEEP programme. This corresponds to a monthly pace of €97bn/months.

· Net purchases by country:  massive skewed toward Italy, Spain and France (PEPP not included)

  • APP breakdown by country: Italy (€11.9bn), French (€8.9bn), Spain (€5.4bn) and Germany (€2.0bn).
  • The ECB is deviated massively from capital keys in favour of Italy, France and Spain against Germany and the Netherlands.

· Net purchases by program (PEPP not included)

  • APP breakdown by programme: PSPP (€37.3bn), CSPP (€7bn), CBPP3 (€3.9bn) and ABSPP (€2.9bn).
  • CSPP rose to €7bn. This is the highest since the end of 2017.

· PEPP : no data available yet on the breakdown by country/programmes

  • PEPP could be reported independently from the APP.
  • PEPP is much more flexible:

- No issuer limit, shorter maturities, and non-commercial paper eligible.

- The benchmark allocation across jurisdictions will be the capital key of the national central banks. At the same time, purchases will be conducted in a flexible manner.


  • The ECB has approximately €1000bn of purchasing power by the end of 2020.
  • This is far below Fed’s volumes: the Fed is now buying assets at an unprecedented pace roughly $1000bn per month!
  • The rapid pace of QE under PEPP so far has not driven a squeeze in EGB spreads.

Amundi Research
March, 2020

BELLAÏCHE Mickael , Fixed Income Strategist
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ECB QE Monitor - March 2020
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