FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should reach its inflation target “without undue delay” after easing its policy this month, and there are no limits to what it can do to stimulate price growth if necessary, its president said on Monday.
With inflation hovering just above zero, the ECB has been loosening monetary policy this year to fuel price growth, fearing that delays in achieving its target rate for inflation of just below 2 percent could damage its credibility.
ECB President Mario Draghi defended the bank’s latest package of measures, which included a deposit rate cut and an extension of its asset-buying program but fell short of market expectations.
“After the recalculation of our tools carried out by the Governing Council earlier this month, we expect inflation to reach our target without undue delay,” Draghi said in Bologna, Italy.
Draghi said there was no limit to what the ECB could do, within its mandate, to bring inflation to its target of almost 2 percent.
“Within our mandate, there are no restrictions to our choice of which tools we use or how,” Draghi said.
“We can always bring inflation to our objective, we must do it, and will do it.”
To read Draghi speech in Italian, please click: here
Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Hugh Lawson