Europe’s stimulus likely to keep running as economies reopen

Europe’s stimulus likely to keep running as economies reopen


FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank is expected to leave its stimulus efforts running at full steam Thursday — even as the economy shows signs of recovery thanks to the easing of pandemic restrictions.

And that could present a challenge for ECB head Christine Lagarde. She faces a balancing act: acknowledging improving economic data without triggering a premature market reaction that anticipates the eventual reduction in central bank support for the economy.

Any talk of a stimulus taper could mean higher borrowing costs for companies — the last thing the ECB wants right now.

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“Even if economic developments would in our view clearly justify at least having a first tapering discussion, the sheer mention of such a discussion could push up bond yields further and consequently undermine the economic recovery before it has actually started,” said Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING bank.

The central bank for the 19 countries that use the shared euro currency

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