The ECB decided to extend the qualitative easing (QE) program till December 2017, but only under the condition that there is a reduction of bond values purchased on a monthly basis.
As stated in its official announcment, the QE program will run normally until March 2017, while from April until December of the same year, bond markets will be limited to 60 billion euros from the 80 billion euros it is at this time.
Similarly, the ECB has left open the possibility of an extension of the program beyond December, saying that ” the program will be implemented until December 2017 or even later, if necessary.”
It also stresses that “if in the meantime, the outlook is less positive or the financial conditions become difficult, then the Board intends to either extend the duration of the program or the total amount of monthly purchases by the ECB.”
As anticipated, the ECB will keep interest rates unchanged.