FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank kept policy unchanged as expected on Thursday, staying on track to end bond purchases this year and raise interest rates next autumn, even as protectionist moves around the globe drag on growth.
Following are highlights of ECB President Mario Draghi’s comments at a post-policy meeting press conference.
Looking ahead, underlying inflation is expected to pick up towards the end of the year and thereafter to increase gradually over the medium term.
Uncertainty around the inflation outlook is receding.
While measures of underlying inflation remain generally muted, they have been increasing from earlier lows.
The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook can still be assessed as broadly balanced.
The Governing Council stands ready to adjust all of its instruments as appropriate to ensure that inflation continues to move towards the Governing Council’s inflation aim in a sustained manner.
Uncertainties relating to rising protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets, and financial market volatility have gained more prominence recently.
Significant monetary policy stimulus is still needed to support the further buildup of domestic price pressures and headline inflation developments over the medium term.
The underlying strength of the economy continues to support our confidence that the sustained convergence of inflation to our aim will proceed and will be maintained even after a gradual winding down of our net asset purchases.
The incoming information, including our new September 2018 staff projections, broadly confirms our previous assessment of an ongoing broad-based expansion of the euro area economy and gradually rising inflation.
EMEA News Desk