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Jobless rate runs at 12 percent in euro zone

07 September 2017

But a strong euro and sluggish inflation are complicating the bank's efforts to reduce stimulus, and Draghi will want to avoid spooking the markets with any unexpected announcements, analysts predicted. The previous projections in June foresaw growth of 1.9 per cent this year, with inflation of 1.3 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019.

In the meantime, the European Central Bank revised its economic growth projection for the euro area upwards to 2.2 percent in 2017, while the growth rate is expected to slow down to 1.8 percent in 2018 and 2019.

The euro rallied as much as 1.2 percent on the day to $1.2059, its highest since August 29, when the currency hit a more than 2-1/2-year high of $1.2069. At 6:46AM ET (10:46GMT), the European benchmark gained 0.85%, Germany's rose 1.03%, while London's traded up 0.40%.

The central bank is expected to keep its refi rate at zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.4 percent.

At a news conference, Mr Draghi said that while economic recovery in the eurozone had been stronger than the Bank had expected, the euro's strength "required monitoring" as it risked holding back inflation. Positive RRs and positively skewed IVs would imply the euro's strength.

That changed this week; Governing Council members were presented with documents exploring scenarios including different combinations for the volume and length of asset purchases, according to euro- area officials familiar with the matter.

While Sterling weakened on Monday, it remains relatively close to its 2017 lows so further losses may be limited.

Canada's dollar held its gains after a surprise interest rate rise on Wednesday reminded everyone that G7 monetary settings would not remain super-easy forever.

Speaking at the ECB's headquarters in Frankfurt, ECB president Draghi said: "This autumn we will decide on the calibration of our monetary policy instruments beyond the end of the year".

"Putting more effort into explaining why the euro is rising on it and on how the balance sheet will continue to deliver stimulus even after tapering could allow for gradual tapering", said European Central Bank watcher Anatoli Annenkov of Societe Generale in a note. Why should the central bank be in a hurry when the exchange market is already undertaking the task at no visible cost? The euro's gain of nearly 6% this year in trade-weighted terms, and more than 13% against the dollar, puts downward pressure on inflation and also threatens to weigh on exports. The currency has appreciated by 14% against the dollar so far this year.

"The big question for this week's meeting is whether (ECB President Mario) Draghi will shed some light on the ECB's game plan for tapering", or winding down its quantitative easing QE (programme), economist Carsten Brzeski of ING Diba bank said.

But the euro has shot upwards against the dollar and the pound in recent months, in part in anticipation of this policy plan, known as tapering.

Jobless rate runs at 12 percent in euro zone