European Central Bank Looks to Review Stimulus Duration

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Top officials at the European Central Bank may revise the outlook for their massive monetary stimulus program early this year, according to an account of their last meeting, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. The report published Thursday showed the officials remained wary at their Dec. 14 meeting of prematurely signaling an expected exit from the bond-buying program, which is credited with accelerating an economic recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro currency. Members of the 25-person governing council that sets monetary policy widely agreed on "the merits of a steady hand in communication" in order to keep investors from anticipating an eventual end to the stimulus and sending market interest rates higher in anticipation. At the Dec. 14 meeting, the ECB council left benchmark interest rates and its stimulus program unchanged. The bank had said in October it would continue its bond-buying stimulus at a reduced rate of 30 billion euros ($36 billion) per month at least through September, leaving the exact end date unclear. Read more. (Subscription required.)