ECB Hawk-Dove Ranking: At Long Last, Governing Council as a Whole Enters Hawkish Territory

3 May 2022

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – Econostream’s latest ranking of the 25 members of the European Central Bank Governing Council in terms of hawkishness/dovishness has been updated to take into account the passage of the April 14 monetary policy meeting, so that the columns indicating voting status include only future meetings – as of today, June 9, July 21 and September 8.

In addition, we have made numerous small adjustments, reranking each of the following policymakers 0.25 point higher than last time to a marginally more hawkish or, as the case may be, less dovish position on the scale:

  • Executive Board member Fabio Panetta
  • Banco de España Governor Pablo Hernández de Cos
  • Bank of Slovenia Governor Boštjan Vasle
  • Národná banka Slovenska Governor Peter Kažimír
  • Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel
  • Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel

At the same time, we have reclassified Belgian National Bank Governor Pierre Wunsch 0.5 point higher, so slightly more hawkish, and, by way of exception, Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Constantinos Herodotou 0.25 point lower, making him marginally more dovish.

In terms of relative position among the 25 ECB Governing Council members, little has changed on our scale extending from -2 (most dovish) to 2 (most hawkish).

However, as a result of the various modifications to our ranking, the mathematical average for the entire Governing Council has risen slightly further to 0.03, meaning that overall, it has entered hawkish territory for the first time.

As usual, the Executive Board remains relatively dovish; the Council would come in at a significantly more hawkish 0.18 without the effect of the six-member Board.

The outcome of our reranking is consistent with the direction in which monetary policy is headed, as we would expect. That said, we smooth the hawk-dove ranking out over time, making adjustments gradually to allow for the fact that policymakers’ views and in particular their expressions of these also don’t necessarily evolve at a constant pace.

That accounts for why the Council as a whole only now, well on the way toward policy normalisation, can be viewed as slightly hawkish on balance. As we have observed here before, fundamentally dovish members can naturally still feel that the ECB’s mandate requires the withdrawal of accommodation, which also explains why the Council’s current rhetoric is generally more hawkish than its score overall.