European Central Bank affirms expectations to end asset buys in third quarter

The European Central Bank on Thursday said it expected to end net asset buys under its Asset Purchase Program in the third quarter. For the current quarter, the ECB said it was sticking to a plan to buy €40 billion in April, €30 billion in May and €20 billion in June, while the pace of any purchases in the third quarter would be “data dependend.” The ECB said any change in interest rates would come “some time after” it had ended net asset purchases. In its policy statement, the ECB said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “weighing heavily on the confidence of businesses and consumers,” with trade disruptions leading to new shortages of materials and inputs, while surging energy and commodity prices were reducing demand and holding back production. “How the economy develops will crucially depend on how the conflict evolves, on the impact of current sanctions and on possible further measures,” the ECB said.

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