You know it’s been a dull press conference when the only real talking point to come from it is a protestor jumping on the table in front of Mario Draghi, throwing confetti on him while yelling “end ECB dictatorship”. That was very much the case today though as Draghi delivered the usual statement, highlighting the few improvements in the euro area before noting some future risks and stressing the need for member states to continue implementing structural reforms.
The only notable point to come from the press conference was Draghi’s repeated insistence on the “full implementation” of QE stating that purchases are “intended” to run until the end of September 2016. In other words, if inflation picks up faster than the ECB is anticipating, it will taper its asset purchases, and if slower, it will go beyond. Draghi also referenced the ELA program and stated that currently Greece is the largest beneficiary of it as a percentage of its GDP, with it currently receiving €110 billion.
All things considered, as expected, today was something of a non-event from the ECB. The euro hovered around 1.06 against the dollar for most of the press conference and only broke higher after the release of weak US data. This had to be expected when you consider that it only started purchasing government debt last month and there would therefore be very little evidence of its effectiveness so far. For something to change, circumstances would have had to change dramatically which has not been the case.