ECB ready to act

The European Central Bank remains prepared to take various policy options to support the euro zone economy, President Mario Draghi said today.

“We are ready to consider all available instruments,” Draghi said at a news conference after the ECB kept its interest rates unchanged.

He made no reference in his opening statement to specific policy options, but the ECB has already said it can cut interest rates again.

There has also been discussion about cutting the overnight deposit rate into negative territory in order to encourage lending. In addition, the OECD and others have called on the ECB to buy assets outright to pump money into the system and keep inflation from falling too much.

Several policymakers had spoken in recent weeks to stress that the central bank was not running out of policy options after the central bank cut the main refinancing rate to a record low of 0.25 percent in November.