LONDON (Reuters) – Only a major shock to the world economy would force the ECB to contemplate further monetary easing given that it just recently announced a package of stimulus measures, its Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Monday.
The ECB in March launched a package of measures including an expansion of its asset purchase scheme. But falling inflation expectations have fuelled hopes of more easing, possibly as early as June when the bank’s staff present new growth and inflation forecasts.
“We took this package of measures very recently so without major upheavals in the world economy we are not contemplating anything just a month after we took major decisions,” Constancio told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event in London.
Consumer prices in the euro zone fell by an annualised 0.2 percent in April, and inflation has been hovering near zero for the best part of two years even though the ECB has injected trillions into the economy via monetary easing. (EUHICY=ECI)
Last week the European Commission cut its 2016 inflation outlook to 0.2 percent from 0.5 percent, further from the ECB’s near 2 percent target, despite monetary stimulus and a rebound in oil prices.
(Reporting by John Geddie and Jamie McGeever; Editing by Andrew Heavens)