The European Central Bank's (ECB's) €1 trillion asset-purchasing program will ensure the eurozone avoids a Japanese-style ‘lost decade’, argues Pimco.
Andrew Bosomworth, who is Pimco’s head of portfolio management in Germany, spoke to investors via teleconference following ECB president Mario Draghi's announcement on Thursday.
At the press conference, Mr Draghi announced there would be monthly purchases of €60 billion beginning in March 2015.
The purchases will continue until September 2016 or until inflation is sitting at two per cent, making the program ‘open-ended’.
“I’m optimistic that this program will truncate the deflation risk [in Europe],” Mr Bosomworth said.
“It’s pretty serious medicine that’s being dished out here."
However, the ECB asset purchases are only treating symptoms of a “larger economic ailment” and not the causes themselves, he added.
European governments need to make their own contribution with "growth-enhancing economic reforms and investment" said Mr Bosomworth – something that both President Draghi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have argued for.
"When I look at some of the eurozone countries at the moment, such as Italy, there’s evidence that some of the reforms are coming through," Mr Bosomworth said.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has overseen reforms of the country's labour market, its political structure (with changes to the Senate) and the mutually-owned banking sector.
"So things are happening. From that perspective when you put it together I think, yes, we can avoid a Japan-like situation in Europe," Mr Bosomworth said.
AMP chief economist Shane Oliver also gave the ECB's move the 'thumbs up'.
"The scale and open-ended nature of the announced QE program provides significant confidence that deflation in Europe will not be sustained and that its growth rate will get back to a firmer footing," Mr Oliver said.
A lower likelihood of deflation in Europe is good news for the global economy, he added.
"So it’s no surprise that shares rallied and it makes sense to continue overweighting eurozone shares," Mr Oliver said.
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