European Central Bank to take next step in tapering stimulus

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is expected to ratchet back its stimulus efforts again on Thursday as it gingerly phases out extraordinary support for the economy left over from the Great Recession and the euro currency union’s debt crisis.

The bank’s 25-member governing council is expected to cut its monthly bond-purchase stimulus to 15 billion euros ($17.4 billion) a month from 30 billion a month, on the way to ending the purchases at the end of the year.

The ECB is due to announce that step in a statement, after President Mario Draghi and other top officials pre-announced the bank’s upcoming moves at their last meeting on June 14. The ECB is also expected to underline its intention to not raise its interest rates until at least the middle of 2019.

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