The European Central Bank (ECB) is about to announce new measures to boost the European economy. The question is still: when.

The ECB’s monetary committee meets this Thursday and there is a small chance that measures are already being announced to further stimulate the economy.

But the chance is greatest that Thursday paves the way for measures in September.

Since March 2016, the interest rate at which banks can borrow money from the ECB has been zero. Since then, the central bank has also bought up hundreds of billions of euros in mainly government bonds.

Everything to lower interest rates in the eurozone and boost the economy. For example, the ECB wants to achieve the inflation target of 2 percent and since all these plans inflation has also risen, but in fact the target has only been achieved once.

In the meantime, the European economy is in worse shape than a year ago. German industry is now experiencing one of the worst times since 2012 and is expected to shrink for several months.

The number of new orders for German producers has fallen to the lowest level since the financial crisis. The important automotive sector, for example, would suffer from the trade war and structural problems.

Under pressure from this, the entire production sector in the eurozone has also entered a slight recession. A positive note is that this malaise has not yet seeped through to the services sector in both Germany and the rest of the eurozone, but the question is how long this can last.

Central bank president Mario Draghi said a few weeks ago that the European economy must improve to prevent the ECB from taking action.

The question is what measures the bank will take. Most analysts do expect a reduction in the so-called deposit rate, the interest that banks get for the money they deposit at the ECB. That is already -0.4 percent, in other words banks are already paying to store money at the ECB.

Analysts expect the ECB to be the first to further reduce this interest rate. For example, it should become even more attractive for banks to lend that money. Furthermore, analysts expect the ECB to restart a buy-back program.

The previous buy-back program ended at the end of December, although the ECB is still investing maturing bonds, keeping the balance sheet at the same size.

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