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Draghi says ECB will fight low inflation

Thursday, April 03 14:06:43

The European Central Bank is committed to using unconventional measures it has available to ensure low inflation does not take hold for too long in the euro zone, ECB President Mario Draghi said today.

"The (ECB's) Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to using also unconventional instruments within its mandate in order to cope effectively with risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation," he told a news conference after the central bank kept its interest rates unchanged.

Euro zone annual inflation ticked down to 0.5 percent in March, its lowest since the economy was deep in recession in 2009, and its sixth month in what Draghi has described as "the danger zone" below 1 percent.

Draghi said inflation was expected to remain low before rising to close to 2 percent at the end of next year.

He added that the European Central Bank will keep interest rates low for as long as needed and will consider all available instruments if monetary policy needs to be eased further.

Draghi told a news conference after the central bank kept its interest rates unchanged that the euro zone's economic recovery was progressing as expected.

"Looking ahead, we will monitor developments very closely and will consider all instruments available to us. We are resolute in our determination to maintain a high degree of monetary accommodation and act swiftly if required," he said.

"Hence, we do not exclude further monetary policy easing and we firmly reiterate that we continue to expect the ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time." (Reuters)