ECB chief economist Peter Praet confirmed that the ECB will have to assess next week “whether the progress so far has been sufficient to warrant a gradual unwinding of our net asset purchases”. With respect to price developments, Praet stated that “inflation expectations are increasingly consistent with our aim” and inflation signals “have been improving”.

Praet’s comments were followed by remarks by Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who stated that “inflation is now expected to gradually return to levels compatible with our definition of price stability”.

Later on, Governing Council member Ardo Hansson was quoted from an interview he had given to an Estonian newspaper. In this, Hansson said that “market expectations are for interest rates to start a moderate rise in the middle of next year”. He added that “when we’re sure that inflation is moderately rising, then the exit could be a bit faster”.

Finally, Governing Council member Klaas Knot was reported to have told Dutch members of parliament that it was “reasonable to announce the end of the net asset purchases soon”.

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