The European Central Bank is ready to pump up to €1tn (£782bn) of fresh stimulus into the flagging eurozone economy to ward off a dangerous deflationary spiral, Mario Draghi has signalled.
Draghi, the ECB’s president, said on Thursday that the bank’s governing council was unanimously willing to announce more unconventional measures, signalling the possibility of creating electronic money – or quantitative easing – should a deteriorating economy make it necessary.
Speaking in Frankfurt, he said: “Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the governing council is unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate. “The governing council has tasked ECB staff and the relevant eurosystem committees with ensuring the timely preparation of further measures to be implemented, if needed.”
Eurozone inflation is 0.4%, far short of the central bank’s target of close to 2%.
Draghi added that the ECB balance sheet would continue to expand in the coming months and was likely to reach early 2012 levels, suggesting a further €1tn to be pumped into the economy. Despite announcing no new measures this month, Draghi’s comments were enough to push the euro to a two-year low against the dollar and to cheer investors around Europe, with most of the major European markets, including the FTSE 100, closing up.
via The Guardian