The European Central Bank is expected to leave its stimulus efforts running at full steam Thursday — even as the economy shows signs of recovery thanks to the easing of pandemic restrictions, the Associated Press reported. And that could present a challenge for ECB head Christine Lagarde. She faces a balancing act: acknowledging improving economic data without triggering a premature market reaction that anticipates the eventual reduction in central bank support for the economy. Any talk of a stimulus taper could mean higher borrowing costs for companies — the last thing the ECB wants right now. The central bank for the 19 countries that use the shared euro currency has been purchasing around 85 billion euros per month in government and corporate bonds as part of a 1.85 trillion euro ($2.25 trillion) effort slated to run at least through early next year. Read more.