FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank decided on Thursday to end its lavish asset purchase scheme but otherwise kept policy broadly unchanged, promising protracted stimulus for an economy struggling with an unexpected slowdown and political turmoil.
Following are highlights of ECB President Mario Draghi’s comments at a press conference after the bank’s policy meeting.
“Redemptions will be reinvested in the jurisdiction in which principal repayments are made, but the portfolio allocation across jurisdictions will continue to be adjusted with a view to bring in the share of the PSPP (Public Sector Purchase Programme) portfolio into closer alignment with the respective national central bank subscription to the ECB capital key.”
“Headline inflation is likely to decrease over the coming months.”
“Measures of underlying inflation remain generally muted, but domestic cost pressures are continuing to strengthen and broaden amid high levels of capacity utilization and tightening labour markets, which is pushing up wage growth.”
MEDIUM-TERM INFLATION INCREASE
“Looking ahead, underlying inflation is expected to increase over the medium term, supported by our monetary policy measures, the ongoing economic expansion and rising wage growth.”
“The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook can still be assessed as broadly balanced. However, the balance of risk is moving to the downside owing to the persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and financial market volatility.”
“The expansion in global activity is still expected to continue, supporting euro area exports although at a slower pace.”
“The Governing Council stands ready to adjust all of its instruments as appropriate to ensure that inflation continues to move towards the ... inflation aim in a sustained manner.”
“Significant monetary policy stimulus is still needed to support the further buildup of domestic price pressures and headline inflation developments over the medium term.”
“Uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and financial market volatility remain prominent.”
“(Underlying strength)... supports our confidence that the sustained convergence of inflation to our aim will proceed and will be maintained even after the end of our net asset purchases.”
“While incoming information has been weaker than expected, reflecting softer external demand, but also some country and sector-specific factors, the underlying strength of domestic demand continues to underpin the euro area expansion and gradually rising inflation pressures.”
EMEA news desk