Experts Say: 2017-02-15

Bostjan Jazbec - Governor of the Bank of Slovenia

The European Central Bank might consider scaling back its bond-buying program early

The European Central Bank might consider scaling back its bond-buying program early if the euro-area recovery picks up sufficient pace, according to Governing Council member Bostjan Jazbec.

Recall that at the moment, the ECB buys bonds on a monthly basis in the amount of 80 billion euros, and it intends to cut quantitative easing to 60 billion euros ($63 billion) a month in April and keep it at that pace until the end of the year.

“There is a natural winding down which has to come, and another question is whether we would start this winding down early,” said Jazbec. “If the situation changes, we would of course change our approach. But it's too soon to say.”

The comments will feed into a debate over when to signal that the era of extraordinary stimulus is nearing an end for the euro area, which has posted 15 consecutive quarters of economic growth. ECB President Mario Draghi has labeled the topic of responding to better-than-forecast data a “high-class problem” that the Governing Council hasn't discussed, while German politicians and media have led calls to taper QE and even raise interest rates.

Published: 2017-02-15
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