balance sheet

Ralph Atkins

Another milestone has been reached in European Central Bank history.

Following last week’s three-year longer-term refinancing operation, the size of the ECB’s balance sheet has exceeded €3trn for the first time (ECB, in this context, actually means “eurosystem” — the network of eurozone central banks of which the ECB is part). Its latest financial statement shows a €330.6bn increase in assets compared with last week, which was more or less the same as the increase in lending to eurozone banks.

As such, the ECB has drawn further ahead of the Federal Reserve in terms of the overall size of its balance sheet (see chart below).