ECB Keeps Stimulus on Track to Aid Economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -
The headquarters of the European Central Bank  in Frankfurt, Germany. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)

The European Central Bank (ECB) has decided to keep its stimulus programs unchanged. And that leaves President Mario Draghi with the job of explaining at his post-decision news conference why he is pressing on with the stimulus when the economy is growing and inflation has reached the bank’s goal of just under 2 percent.

Draghi argues that inflation’s recent rise to 2.0 percent in February comes from higher oil prices, and not from fundamental pressures in the economy such as higher wages for workers.

Core inflation, excluding volatile fuel and oil, remains stuck at 0.9 percent.

The bank decided to keep its bond purchases from banks unchanged at 80 billion euros this month and 60 billion euros per month through the end of the year.