ECB emergency bond purchases to last while disruptions persist: Lane
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Executive Board member of the European Central Bank Philip Lane attends the Fortune Global Forum in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Executive Board member of the European Central Bank Philip Lane attends the Fortune Global Forum in Paris, France, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

November 22, 2020

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will continue its emergency bond purchases as long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt normal economic activity, ECB chief economist Philip Lane told French newspaper Les Echos in an interview.

The ECB earlier said the emergency purchase would last until least June 30 but already signalled that it would “recalibrate” this programme at the December meeting, a message taken to mean that the purchases would be expanded and extended.

“We won’t terminate the programme until certain conditions have been met,” Les Echos quoted Lane as saying on Sunday. “First of all, the pandemic must no longer interrupt normal economic activity.”

Lane said that the current lockdown measures would “absolutely” lead to a drop in economic activity but the impact will be less severe than in the spring, when restrictions were more debilitating.

For a full text of the interview, click on: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/inter/date/2020/html/ecb.in201122~3a68c446f1.en.html

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi)