Mario Draghi: ECB will do 'whatever is needed' to raise inflation

Mario Draghi: ECB will do 'whatever is needed' to raise inflation

European Central Bank head Mario Draghi has said the monetary authority will do "whatever is needed" to push up inflation from its dangerously low levels.

Mr Draghi's remarks on Thursday underline the bank's willingness to step up its stimulus efforts even though they were increased as recently as its last meeting on March 10.

And his speech indicated a readiness to push back against criticism from some media and politicians in Germany, the eurozone's biggest member, who say the ECB has done too much.

Mr Draghi said that the current stimulus was "without precedent" and was supporting a moderate economic recovery. He said it was time for national governments to start taking steps to make their economies grow faster, producing more demand for goods and services and raising inflation and employment.

He said that "the ECB has and will continue to do whatever is needed to comply with its mandate".

"We have solid evidence that the monetary policy measures that we have taken since mid-2014 are being effective in delivering their intended impact," he said. He cited ECB statistics showing that borrowing costs have fallen steeply for both businesses and consumers.

The ECB on March 10 decided to increase its monthly bond purchase stimulus to €80bn a month from €60bn.

The purchases pump new money into the banking system in hopes that it will be lent to businesses or used to purchase other assets, increasing their prices and inspiring their owners to spend.

The ECB also cut its benchmark for short-term bank borrowing to zero, and cut the rate it pays on banks' deposits at the central bank to minus 0.4% from minus 0.3%. That means the banks have to pay to park cash at the ECB, a spur for them to loan excess funds.

The office of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Portugal's new head of state, said he invited Mr Draghi to hear his views on Europe's economic and financial situation. The governor of the Bank of Portugal was also invited to Thursday's meeting. Guests do not commonly attend a Council of State.

Portugal's centre-left Socialist government, which took power at the end of last year, is scrapping some austerity measures adopted after the country's €78bn bailout in 2011. It says it wants to focus on pro-growth policies.

More in this Section

Government to consider legal right for workers to switch off outside working hoursGovernment to consider legal right for workers to switch off outside working hours

Trump’s desire to acquire Greenland is not ‘crazy’Trump’s desire to acquire Greenland is not ‘crazy’

Consumer confidence flashes red for TrumpConsumer confidence flashes red for Trump

Apple €13bn tax appeal hearing next monthApple €13bn tax appeal hearing next month


Lifestyle

Five things for the week ahead with Des O'Driscoll.Five things for the week ahead

From Liverpool’s beat-pop to Bristol’s trip-hop, Irish writer Karl Whitney explains the distinctive musical output of individual cities in the UK, writes Marjorie Brennan.Sounds of the City: The musical output of individual UK cities

As landlords’ enclosures of villages and commonages during England’s industrial revolution drove landless countrymen into the maws of the poet William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills”, a romantic nostalgia for the countryside began to grow.Damien Enright: Great writers took inspiration from walking

Take no risks, ‘do all the right things’, and you’ll lead a comfortable, but dull, existence. ‘Living dangerously’, on the other hand, yields ‘highs’ of excitement usually followed, alas, by pain andRichard Collins: Live fast and die young or last up to 500 years

More From The Irish Examiner