ECB to halve €60bn bond-buying programme

The European Central Bank (ECB) will cut back its scheme designed to boost the economies of the eurozone.

From January of next year, it will reduce the amount of assets it buys every month to €30bn from the current level of €60bn.

The programme, which aimed to fend off the threat of eurozone deflation and help boost employment, could finish by the end of next year.

Inflation is likely to be below the 2% ECB target for the next few years.

The ECB said the reduced programme would run to the end of September 2018, “or beyond, if necessary”.

If economic conditions become less favourable, or if no progress is likely to be made towards the ECB’s inflation target, it could increase bond-buying again, it said.

“Our programme is flexible enough that we can adjust its size smoothly,” ECB President Mario Draghi told a press conference.

There will be no sudden end to bond-buying, he said.

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