Introductory statement

Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice-President and I are very pleased to welcome you to our press conference. I would like to thank Chairman of the Board Vasiliauskas for his kind hospitality and express our special gratitude to his staff for the excellent organisation of today’s meeting of the Governing Council. We will now report on the outcome of our meeting.

Based on our regular economic and monetary analyses, we have conducted a thorough assessment of the economic and inflation outlook, also taking into account
the latest staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area. As a result, the Governing Council took the following decisions in the pursuit of its price stability objective.

First, we decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged. We now expect them to remain at their present levels at least through the first half of 2020, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.
Second, we intend to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase programme for an extended period of time past the date when we start raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accomodation.