ECB ready to do more if needed, signs up to Draghi's target

Thu Nov 6, 2014 10:53am EST
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By Eva Taylor

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank members all stand ready to take more policy action if needed to revive a struggling euro economy and the bank's staff will prepare the groundwork, President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

The Italian doused concerns about his leadership style, saying the whole policymaking Governing Council had signed up to a statement which confirmed previous comments he had made on the amount of money the bank aimed to pump into the economy.

The ECB kept interest rates at a record low 0.05 percent at it monthly meeting, waiting to see how measures already in train unfold.

After the U.S. Federal Reserve ended its bond-buying program and the Bank of Japan increased its pace of money creation, markets are trying to judge how close the ECB is to launching more aggressive steps, such as quantitative easing money-printing to buy large amounts of government bonds.

Reuters reported this week that national central bankers in the euro area planned to challenge Draghi over his communication style at a dinner on Wednesday.

They were particularly concerned about his setting of an expanded balance sheet target after the Council agreed in September not to make any figure public.

Draghi has now built a united front.

He reaffirmed the target, telling a news conference the balance sheet would "move towards the dimensions it had at the beginning of 2012".   Continued...

A euro logo sculpture stands in front the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt October 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski