ECB On Course To Take More Aggressive Action On Monetary Easing

Mario Draghi, the ECB president, has won wide support for further policy action next month, according to minutes of the bank’s January policy meeting, released on Thursday to boost flagging growth and weak inflation, amid fresh warnings about the outlook for the global economy. The minutes show the governing council was unanimous in concluding that its current policy stance “needed to be reviewed and possibly reconsidered” in March, when the ECB’s quarterly macroeconomic projections will be available. ECB board members “widely agreed” that monetary policy was having its intended impact of easing financing conditions, supporting the real economy and bolstering the eurozone’s resilience to external shocks. But new data last week offered grounds for scepticism, as the eurozone economy expanded just 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2015, while inflation in the region is stuck at 0.4 per cent. It has been below 1 per cent for more than two years and missed an official inflation target of “close to but below” 2 per cent for four years.

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