ECB winds down cri­sis-era stim­u­lus pro­gram

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - BUSINESS -

RIGA, Latvia: The Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank has de­cided to phase out the bond-buy­ing stim­u­lus pro­gram cred­ited with help­ing the 19 coun­tries that use the euro re­cover from the Great Re­ces­sion and eu­ro­zone debt cri­sis. The bank said Thurs­day that the stim­u­lus pro­gram’s bond pur­chases would be re­duced to 15 bil­lion eu­ros ($17.7 bil­lion) a month, from the cur­rent 30 bil­lion eu­ros, be­gin­ning in Oc­to­ber. They would then be wound up com­pletely af­ter De­cem­ber. The bank was care­ful to un­der­line that it would with­draw the sup­port for the econ­omy only grad­u­ally, say­ing its key in­ter­est rates would not rise from record lows un­til at least the sum­mer of 2019 and could stay low for longer if needed. “The ECB’s an­nounce­ment that it will end its as­set pur­chases in De­cem­ber is prob­a­bly a lit­tle bolder than mar­kets had ex­pected, but this is tem­pered by the pledge to keep in­ter­est rates on hold for more than a year,” said Jen­nifer McKe­own, chief Euro­pean econ­o­mist at Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics. –

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