October 5, 2017 / 9:55 AM / 2 years ago

ECB's Nowotny expects asset purchases to slow at start of next year: Trend

European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member and OeNB governor Ewald Nowotny arrives for a news conference in Vienna, Austria, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is likely to slow its asset purchases gently at the start of next year, policymaker Ewald Nowotny said in remarks published on Thursday, weeks before the ECB meets to decide on the future of the quantitative easing program.

With the ECB’s current 2.3 trillion euro bond purchase program due to end in December, ECB policymakers are likely to use their meeting on Oct. 26 to debate the merits of either extending the scheme for a relatively long period but with smaller monthly purchases, or retaining bigger monthly purchases, but for a shorter period.

“I assume that we will transition to a cautious deceleration at the start of the coming year,” ECB Governing Council member and Austrian central bank chief Nowotny told weekly magazine Trend, adding that he was largely in agreement with his German counterpart, ECB hawk Jens Weidmann.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Shadia Nasralla

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