ECB set to `re-examine` stimulus policy at next meeting
October 22, 2015, 3:39 pm

The European Central Bank (ECB) says it will "re-examine" its €1.1 trillion quantitative easing (QE) stimulus programme at its December meeting.

It has embarked on a scheme of bond purchases at €60bn per month designed to bring eurozone inflation back up.

But consumer prices fell by 0.1% in the euro area in September, prompting speculation there may be changes to the bank`s QE policy.

The comments came as the bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.05%.

`Monetary policy accommodation`

"The asset-purchase plans are proceeding smoothly and continue to have a favourable impact," bank head Mario Drahgi said told a news conference in Malta.

"The degree of monetary policy accommodation will need to be re-examined at our December meeting."

The decision to leave the cost of borrowing unchanged was widely expected after the ECB cut rates to rock-bottom levels more than a year ago.

It kept the rate on bank overnight deposits at -0.2%, which means banks pay to keep funds at the central bank.

The ECB also held its marginal lending facility - or emergency overnight borrowing rate for banks - at 0.3%.

Inflation expectations

Mr Draghi added that the bank`s governing council had taken part in "a very rich discussion" on a number of areas of monetary policy, including a potential further cut in the rate charged to banks to leave money on deposit at the central bank.

He also said that the eurozone inflation rate was set to remain very low in the near-term.

"Since our last meeting, short-term inflation expectations have declined but more medium to long-term inflation expectations, after some decline following our last meeting, have now recovered and are basically unchanged since then," he said.

After his comments, European bond yields and the euro fell.

German 10-year bond yields fell 5 basis points to 0.53%, and euro fell to a three-week low of $1.1226 against the US dollar, down 1% on the day.


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