The European Central Bank (ECB) stands ready to act promptly and decisively if it decides that its current policy is failing to stimulate the sluggish euro zone economy, its president Mario Draghi told the region's bankers.
It was the second dovish speech in a week for Draghi, who continues to hint that a ramping-up of the ECB's trillion-euro asset purchase program could be announced in December.
"At the December Governing Council meeting we will thoroughly assess the strength and persistence of the factors that are slowing the return of inflation towards 2 percent. If we conclude that the balance of risks to our medium-term price stability objective is skewed to the downside, we will act by using all the instruments available within our mandate," Draghi said at the Frankfurt European Banking Congress on Friday morning.
"We consider the asset purchase program to be a powerful and flexible instrument, as it can be adjusted in terms of size, composition or duration to achieve a more expansionary stance...if we decide that the current trajectory of our policy is not sufficient to achieve our objective, we will do what we must to raise inflation as quickly as possible."
The euro fell to 1.0683 against the dollar following the speech, after trading near 1.071.