ECB’s Draghi to Gauge His Optimism in the Economy

From business confidence in Germany to manufacturing in France and consumer spending in Italy, a smattering of data from across the 19-nation euro area will provide a glimpse at the state of the recovery. The European Central Bank president, who has become more upbeat on the economy since announcing his quantitative-easing program two months ago, will get a chance to present his view on Monday when he addresses the European Parliament in Brussels.

His words will come only days after protesters vented their anger outside the ECB’s new headquarters in Frankfurt over the institution’s perceived role in imposing fiscal austerity and economic hardship throughout Europe. With unemployment still near record highs and strong support for populist parties like Greece’s Syriza threatening to tear apart the currency bloc, pressure is building on Draghi to ensure that monetary stimulus reaches beyond banks’ balance sheets.

“Draghi will continue to cheerlead the effects of the ECB’s QE but warn that you need reforms to make the recovery extended and long-lasting,” said Thomas Harjes, senior European economist at Barclays Plc in Frankfurt. “There is still a significant amount of discontent in states that saw a surge in unemployment, and for this to change you really need a turn in employment dynamics.”


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