Draghi May Address Future of ECB Stimulus at Jackson Hole

By Tom FairlessFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is scheduled to address the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole conference in August for the first time in three years, according to a person familiar with the matter, in a speech that is expected to give a further sign of the ECB's growing confidence in the eurozone economy and its reduced dependence on monetary stimulus.

The future of the ECB's EUR60 billion-a-month ($68.5 billion) bond-buying program, which is currently due to run through December, is the biggest question hanging over global markets.

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ECB officials say the bank is likely to signal at its Sept. 7 policy meeting that the bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, will be gradually wound down next year.

Mr. Draghi's speech in Jackson Hole will take place less than two weeks before the ECB's September meeting, providing an obvious opportunity to signal a policy shift before the blackout window closes a week ahead of the meeting.

His last speech at Jackson Hole, in August 2014, was widely seen as heralding the start of the bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing or QE. Signaling the end of the program at the same event would have a certain symmetry, a person familiar with the matter said.

ECB officials caution that the timeline could yet change if economic data turn out weaker than expected. They will gather in Frankfurt on July 19-20 for the ECB's next policy meeting, but aren't expected to announce any major changes yet.

Write to Tom Fairless at tom.fairless@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 13, 2017 07:27 ET (11:27 GMT)