The European Central Bank’s asset purchases last month slowed to the weakest since quantitative easing started in March as liquidity dried up during Europe’s summer holiday period.
Holdings of government and agency debt, covered bonds and asset-backed securities rose by 51.6 billion euros ($57.6 billion) in August, the ECB said on Monday. The increase compares with 61 billion euros in July and 63 billion euros in each of May and June.
While the Frankfurt-based central bank intends to buy 60 billion euros a month of debt through September 2016 to revive euro-area inflation, it has repeatedly said the program can be adjusted to take account of market conditions. Purchases were frontloaded before the summer and ECB President Mario Draghi has signaled that the same strategy may be used before December.
In weekly data also published Monday, the ECB said holdings of public-sector debt rose by 11.9 billion euros in the period ended Sept. 4 to total 301.4 billion euros. Holdings under its current covered-bond program climbed by 1.1 billion euros to 112.2 billion euros. ABS holdings increased by 382 million euros to 11.5 billion euros.