Governing Council

Claire Jones

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Image by DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Image by DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images.

Hello and welcome to today’s live blog for European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s first press conference of 2013.

Mr Draghi will begin speaking at 13.30. All times are UK time.



14.40 The live blog is now closed.

14.38 The ECB president struck a very upbeat tone at today’s presser.

Mr Draghi is clearly delighted with the recent developments in financial markets (see 13.46), though he warned against complacency on the part of governments and added that we were yet to see any signs of an economic recovery.

Because markets were a lot more positive, the governing council was unanimous in deciding to hold rates and no-one even bothered to discuss the option of a cut, which now looks unlikely to happen in the coming months.

14.30 The questions end. Recap to follow.

14.28 Contagion is now working in the eurozone’s favour. “There is a positive contagion when things go well and that’s what’s in play now,” he says.

Despite the recent progress made, however, Draghi say DON’T relax. Which is all well and good, but it doesn’t make for a decent t-shirt does it?

He urges governments to keep up the good work and continue to implement structural reforms.

 Read more

Claire Jones

Mario Draghi. Image by Getty.

Mario Draghi. Image by Getty.

Hello and welcome to our live blog on the European Central Bank’s press conference, which follows the governing council’s vote earlier today.

Today’s presser is held in Kranj, Slovenia. ECB president Mario Draghi will be flanked by Vitor Constâncio, ECB president, and Marko Kranjec, governor of the Slovenian central bank.

All times are London time.

14.26 And that’s that from Kranj. The ECB president painted a gloomy picture of the economic outlook, but there was little indication of what the central bank would do if conditions worsened.

14.25 Time for one more question. This one on the possibility of a conflict of interest between supervising banks and monetary policy. “We have to make sure that we have an organisation that ensures separation between monetary policy decisions and banking supervision,” Mr Draghi says.

14.20 Mr Draghi reiterates for the umpteenth time that the ball is now very much in the court of governments: “The ECB is there to make an environment that is conducive to reforms, but the decision is with governments,” he says.

14.15 Marko Kranjec, governor of Slovenia’s central bank, says the country’s borrowing costs “don’t reflect fundamentals.” The governor says he expects them to fall in the months ahead. A related question from Peter Spiegel:

[blackbirdpie url=""]

Any takers? Read more

Ralph Atkins

After cutting some dash at his first two interest rate-setting meetings as European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi  will probably show a more cautious side on Thursday. The ECB’s governing council, gathering for the first time in 2012, is expected to leave the bank’s main interest rate unchanged at 1 per cent. After a tumultuous first few months under Mr Draghi the ECB appears to be in wait-and-see mode, at least for now. Read more

Ralph Atkins

Thursday’s European Central Bank quarter percentage point rate cut was overshadowed by events in Brussels and the additional extraordinary liquidity help the ECB announced for distressed European banks. But it marked an important change of style at the ECB under Mario Draghi, its president since November 1. Read more

Claire Jones

Our week ahead email will help you to track the most important events in the central banking world. To see all of our emails and alerts visit

Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will vote on monetary policy on Thursday.

The Monetary Policy Committee decision is out at noon local time (11.00 GMT). According to a Reuters poll, most expect the Bank to hold rates and maintain the stock of asset purchases at £200bn. However, a significant minority predict more QE, with most of these believing that £50bn is the amount that the MPC is most likely to plump for.

Though those expecting more QE in October are in the minority, the bulk of analysts do believe the Bank will expand its asset purchases at some point in the near future, with November considered the most likely option. The Bank also publishes the minutes of its FPC meeting on Monday at 09.30 local time (08.30 GMT), which may shed some light on the rather ambiguous statement that came out this week.   Read more

Ralph Atkins

What to watch out for after Thursday’s European Central Bank governing council meeting? Jean-Claude Trichet, president, hinted at a re-think of its interest rate strategy when he told the European Parliament last week that medium term inflation risks were “under study”. That encouraged speculation that he would drop references to “upside risks” – and allow the ECB to keep its main policy rate on hold, or even consider cuts.

But the ECB may not drop the reference to “upside risks” completely. Past experience suggests the ECB keeps a hawkish bias until the very last moment. Consider the language it used in late 2008. Read more

Claire Jones

ECB president Jean-Claude TrichetWelcome to the live blog where we will cover the European Central Bank’s rate decision and ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet’s press conference.

All times are London time; Frankfurt is one hour ahead. By Claire Jones and Chris Giles in London, and Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt.


16.39 Ralph Atkins’ key points, in no particular order, from today’s press conference. Read more