ECB's Draghi Opens Door For More QE

By MarketWatch Pulse

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday the Governing Council is ready expand its quantitative easing program to fend off the threat of low inflation. Giving his introductory remarks before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament in Brussels, the ECB boss warned that renewed downside risks to inflation have emerged. These risks include slowing growth in emerging-market economies, a stronger euro and a fall in oil and commodity prices. "Should some of the downwards risks weaken the inflation outlook over the medium term more fundamentally than we project at present, we would not hesitate to act," he said. "The asset purchase program has sufficient in-built flexibility. We will adjust its size, composition and duration as appropriate, if more monetary policy impulse should become necessary," he added. The ECB's 1.1 trillion euro ($1.23 trillion) quantitative easing program announced in January is currently planned to run until September 2016.

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