ECB ready to act if inflation stays low for too long: Draghi

The European Central Bank is ready to intervene if inflation remains low for too long, President Mario Draghi said on Monday, adding that he was certain the euro zone will escape the fate of Japan. Draghi kept his cards close to his chest, however, and declined to discuss in detail the instruments it could use to counter any prolonged weakness in prices. But he pointed out that the reason banks were not lending to households and companies was not because they lacked funding, suggesting more long-term ECB loans are unlikely for now. Euro zone inflation has fallen far below the ECB’s target of below but close to 2 percent in recent months as the bloc crawls out of recession and banks try to clear their balance sheets of assets that turned sour during the crisis.

    

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