BUSINESS

ECB President Draghi: European stimulus will continue

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Thursday the ECB will continue its economic stimulus program until inflation picks up and companies and consumers gain confidence.

Speaking at the International Monetary Fund, Draghi said the program — involving 1.1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) in bond purchases — "will stay in place as long as needed for its objective to be fully achieved."

Earlier this week, the 19 countries that use the euro currency reported the fastest economic growth in nearly two years.

The ECB is buying 60 billion euros a month in government and corporate bonds using newly created money. Increasing the supply of money in the economy can raise inflation. The stimulus is also lowering market borrowing rates, which tends to boost lending and, by extension, economic activity.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan have also used bond purchases, or quantitative easing, to stimulate weak economies.