Issued on: 30/04/2020 – 05:33Modified: 30/04/2020 – 05:44
Just weeks after unveiling a massive stimulus scheme in a late-night shock-and-awe move, the European Central Bank is under pressure to deploy even more firepower on Thursday to prop up an economy that could shrink by a tenth this year.
Printing cash at a record pace to soak up ballooning state debt during the coronavirus pandemic, the ECB is on its way to exhausting its bond purchase quota early. This has raised doubts about its commitment to help the eurozone through the worst economic crisis for decades and may encourage it to boost its support.
ECB chief Christine Lagarde last week warned European leaders they risked doing "too little, too late" as the pandemic threatens a 15-percent drop in eurozone GDP this year.
Policymakers are keen to keep some pressure on the bloc's political leadership, which has so far fumbled its fiscal response, leaving the ECB in a familiar role as the currency..