ECB monetary stimulus still needed to push up inflation - Draghi

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi holds a news conference following the governing council's interest rate decision at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that pumping money into the euro zone economy was still necessary in order to boost inflation.

With the bloc’s economy growing faster than expected, investors have been speculating that the ECB could abruptly stop its asset purchases in September, as advocated by Estonia’s central bank governor Ardo Hansson.

But Draghi, in a news conference, was clear that stimulus remains needed, with inflation being subdued and only seen gradually rising over the medium term.

“An ample degree of monetary stimulus remains necessary for underlying inflationary pressures to continue to build up,” he said.

The stimulus would come from asset purchases, asset holding, reinvestment and forward guidance that interest rates will remain low, Draghi said.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt