The key message from Mario Draghi’s press conference is that the ECB is getting ready to slow its stimulus programme, but it’s not in a rush.
President Draghi tried to be as vague as possible, while sticking to his pledge to decide the future of its bond-buying programme this autumn.
He confirmed that the governing council had begun ‘very preliminary’ talks about how the quantitative easing programme might be changed; how much longer it might run, and how much it might pump into the euro economy.
This was the key statement from the ECB chief:
“We will announce when we are ready. We think we are going to be ready for much of what we have to decide in October ... if we are not then we postpone.”
Traders have taken this as a sign that QE will be toned down from its current €60bn per month pace from January.
Crucially, Draghi didn’t seem too alarmed by the strength of the euro - claiming at one stage that he didn’t even know where the single currency was trading today (it peaked at $1.2059 during his press conference).
He also stated several times that interest rates will remain at their present record lows for a long time - that’s meant to reassure households and businesses.