ECB Said to Agree Risks to Outlook Have Become More Balanced

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European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will say at her press conference on Thursday that the risks to the economic outlook have become more balanced, according to officials.

Speaking after the Governing Council’s policy meeting, she’ll present updated projections for growth and inflation that will be broadly unchanged compared to the previous set in December, the officials said.

An ECB spokesman declined to comment.

The central bank’s immediate focus is on keeping financial conditions favorable. It said in its policy statement before Lagarde’s press conference that purchases under its pandemic program will be conducted at a significantly higher pace over the next quarter than during the first months of this year.

Rising yields are driven partly by the speedy U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic, which has boosted inflation expectations. In contrast, the euro zone is mired in extended pandemic lockdowns and slow vaccinations. The economy is likely to contract this quarter.

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