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MNI (London)
--Some Council Members Pushed To 'Drop The Easing Bias' in ECB Comms
by jean Comte
     FRANKFURT (MNI) - European Central Bank policymakers disagreed on the
precise wording needed covering the end of Asset Purchase Program (APP) during
their most recent policy meeting, held Jan 24/25, the account of the gathering,
released Thursday, show.
     The final press release confirmed that the APP would last at least until
September 2018, and that the size or duration of the program could be increased
"if the outlook becomes less favourable, or if financial conditions become
inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of
inflation."
     But "some members expressed a preference for dropping the easing bias
regarding the APP from the Governing Council's communication as a tangible
reflection of reinforced confidence in a sustained adjustment of the path of
inflation", the minutes showed.
     "However, it was concluded that such an adjustment was premature and not
yet justified by the stronger confidence," the text added. 
     "It was also recalled that even when net purchase were terminated, the
monetary policy stance would remain highly accommodative, as the evolution of
inflation would remain conditional on reinvestment continuing for an extended
period of time and on policy rates remaining at their present levels well past
the end of the ECB's asset purchases".
     MNI reported yesterday that the ECB is likely to "gradually" revisit its
communication in the run-up to the end of the APP, suggesting there will not be
any significant change following the next meeting, scheduled for March 8.
     Nevertheless, MNI noted that the central issue of forward guidance is still
open and the formal line has yet to be agreed at the March meeting.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$X$$$,M$$EC$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com