The European Central Bank (ECB) is embarking on a new policy phase with its latest stimulus measures, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said, vowing to steer the central bank's balance sheet "significantly higher".
Since the summer, the ECB has cut interest rates to record lows, offered banks new long-term loans, and announced plans to buy private sector assets - a program with which it aims to stimulate lending to support the flagging euro zone economy.
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Constancio said in the text of a speech released on Wednesday that "the measures decided in the past few months mark a new phase in the ECB's approach."
"With these new measures, the Governing Council demonstrates that we are ready to actively steer the size of our balance sheet towards significantly larger levels, so as to further ease the stance of monetary policy," he added.