ECB's Draghi says discussed available tools, decided to wait

FRANKFURT Thu Feb 6, 2014 9:26am EST

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FRANKFURT Feb 6 (Reuters) - The governing council of the European Central Bank had a broad policy discussion at its meeting on Thursday but decided to hold off from action pending new economic forecasts next month, President Mario Draghi said.

"The reason for today's decision not to act has really to do with the complexity of the situation I just described and the need to acquire more information," Draghi told a news conference following the ECB's decision to keep interest rates on hold.

"First of all, the macroeconomic projections by the staff, which will be coming out in early March... for the first time will contain forecasts for 2016 and that is a very significant change in ... the information set that we use for our analysis."

Draghi said the governing council had broadly discussed the policy instruments it might use. These included the possibility of suspending operations to soak up money the ECB spent buying sovereign bonds, which had received particular attention in the market ahead of Thursday's meeting.

"It's one of the many instruments that we are looking at, it's not been discussed... we had a broad discussion about all the instruments," he said, adding that ECB committees had been studying various measures, "so that by the time and if we are to decide to activate the measures, we are ready to go".

"What measures we will decide to activate ... will depend on the contingencies that we will have to face," Draghi said.

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