Draghi says ECB ready to act fast to tackle low inflation

The European Central Bank is ready to act in a timely manner if low inflation persists, ECB President Mario Draghi said today.

“We will continue to meet our responsibility – we will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price stability mandate requires of us,” Draghi said in a speech at an annual banking congress.

“If on its current trajectory our policy is not effective enough to achieve this, or further risks to the inflation outlook materialise, we would step up the pressure and broaden even more the channels through which we intervene, by altering accordingly the size, pace and composition of our purchases.”

He also warned about the difficult economic situation in the euro zone, where growth remained weak and where no improvement in the coming months was expected.

“Over shorter horizons, however, indicators have been declining to levels that I would deem excessively low,” he said.

“Survey-based measures of inflation expectations have generally been more stable, but the latest Survey of Professional Forecasters also indicates some decline – and at all horizons.”

The euro zone economy is mired in low growth and weak inflation and the ECB in recent month stepped up its efforts to boost the recovery by flooding the market with billion of euros to unblock lending channels to households and companies.

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