A rate increase then would be Draghi’s first while in office as ECB head.
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The economy of the 19 countries that use the euro currency is growing ever stronger, and it's time for the European Central Bank to start telling the public how it will phase out its extraordinary stimulus measures.The bank will ease off its monthly bond-buying stimulus slowly – and interest rates likely won't be raised for nearly another two years.In practical terms the bank's stance means that the 60 billion euros ($71 billion) in monthly bond purchases, which help keep borrowing rates low in the economy, might be cut back in January to, say, 30 billion euros per month and then ended sometime in the second half of 2018 .The ECB's portfolio should keep rising until it hits about 2.6 trillion euros in bonds held for monetary policy purposes.The U.S. Federal Reserve is farther along in withdrawing stimulus and has said it plans to slowly start letting its $4.5 trillion bond pile run down as the bonds mature.The ECB is so cautious in part because a quick withdrawal of stimulus could push stock markets down and push up the euro.
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