When is a trillion euros not enough? Could be soon, in Europe’s shaky economy.
Analysts are already talking about when and how the European Central Bank might extend its 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) stimulus program that has been running for the past six months in an attempt to boost the modest recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro.
They say ECB President Mario Draghi will likely use his news conference Thursday to underline the bank’s willingness to increase its efforts, if needed, to push up stubbornly weak inflation or limit any damage from the economic troubles in China.
The stimulus program is slated to run through September 2016, in monthly purchases of 60 billion euros of government and corporate bonds. The effort, called quantitative easing, or QE, pumps newly printed money into the economy. It is aimed at raising a rate of inflation that is so low as to provoke fears about the health of the economy.
Yet the impact of the ECB’s program remains unclear.
Despite major tail winds from low oil prices, a weak euro and massive central bank stimulus, the eurozone’s economic recovery remains tepid.