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Ecb Minutes Show Policymakers' Support for steady Policy Stance, Suggest Little Appetite for Curbing Stimulus

Minutes of the European Central Bank's Jan 19 meeting showed on Thursday that policymakers broadly agreed to look through the energy-driven recent upturns in headline inflation and sought patience as they judged that the euro area economy required a substantial monetary stimulus to bring price growth to target.

Policymakers also agreed that it was imperative to maintain a very substantial degree of monetary accommodation for inflation pressures to build up and durably support headline inflation. Members argued that the recent inflation surge was temporary and threats to growth remained.

They called for a steady-hand approach at last month's rate meeting, the minutes of the gathering showed, suggesting little appetite for dialling back stimulus ahead of high-stakes elections across Europe. With France, the Netherlands and Germany, three of the biggest economies, getting ready for elections, the ECB has been expected to remain on the sidelines.

"The Governing Council was seen as well advised to remain patient and maintain a 'steady hand' to provide stability and predictability in an environment still characterised by a high level of uncertainty," the ECB said.

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