RIGA, Latvia (AP) — The Latest on the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting (all times local):
The European Central Bank says it will phase out its bond-buying stimulus program at the end of the year.
The program has driven down borrowing costs and supported an economy recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro.
The bank said after Thursday's meeting of its 25-member governing council that the purchases would be reduced to 15 billion euros a month from 30 billion euros from October and then wound up completely in December.
The statement also said its interest rates would not rise until at least summer 2019.
The bank's move toward the exit comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve decide to make its second interest rate increase this year and indicated more were coming. The central banks are withdrawing stimulus efforts that started during the Great Recession as their economies recover.
The European Central Bank is meeting to discuss when and how to end its bond-buying stimulus program, an exit that will have far-reaching consequences across the economy.
The bank, which sets monetary policy for the 19 countries that use the euro, has been buying 30 billion euros ($35.5 billion) a month in government and corporate bonds from banks. The purchases are slated to run at least through September, and longer if necessary.
Analysts say that decisions on the exit path, which could include several intermediate steps, might come Thursday or at the next meeting, July 26. Scenarios include reducing the purchases past September, and then stopping them at year-end.