The European Central Bank (ECB) is widely expected to hold interest rates steady on Thursday with many market watchers expecting the bank to announce in September plans to reduce its bond-buying program.
ECB President Mario Draghi’s speech in Sintra was interpreted by many economists as a sign that the central bank was more optimistic about the economy and could start “tapering” earlier than expected. Since his speech in June, the ECB has tried to calm down those expectations in order to prevent an unwanted tightening of monetary conditions.
“Our mission is not yet accomplished. We need patience and persistence. We need to be patient, because inflation convergence needs more time to show through convincingly in the data,” the ECB’s Chief Economist Peter Praet said in a speech July 6 in Paris. In the same speech, he also said that the recovery in the euro zone “seems to have gathered further momentum.”