Jan Smets Says ECB Could Take Steps to Phase Out QE This Summer

Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2018
by Tom Fairless

BRUSSELS—The European Central Bank is likely to move over the summer to gradually phase out its bond-buying program, perhaps announcing a decision after its July 26 policy meeting, a top ECB official said.

But the official— Jan Smets of Belgium—also suggested investors might be right to have recently pushed back their forecasts for when the ECB might increase interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal in Belgium’s capital, Mr. Smets, who sits on the ECB’s 25-member rate-setting committee as governor of the Belgian central bank, indicated that ECB officials remain confident in the economic outlook and are ready to discuss changing their policy mix.

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