Draghi gives a speech during the European Banking Congress in Frankfurt. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND
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European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said the chief monetary authority for the eurozone "will not hesitate" to expand its stimulus program at its next meeting if needed to support the economic recovery.The ECB could increase its 1.1 trillion euro ($1.2 trillion) program of bond purchases, which injects newly printed money into the economy. It could also lower its rate on money deposited at the ECB by banks farther into negative territory, a move that pushes the banks to lend more. Draghi argued that the current stimulus has had a strong effect in supporting the economy, which has this year been growing gradually. The 19 countries that use the euro currency saw economic activity grow 0.3 percent in the third quarter from the quarter before.Draghi warned that the modest recovery is facing headwinds from an economic slowdown in emerging markets. And he said that increased growth has not led to a pickup in inflation, which at an annual 0.1 percent remains far below the ECB's goal of just under 2 percent.
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