When Will the ECB Pull Its Trillions From the Markets?

By Jana Randow, Jeremy Scott Diamond and Hayley Warren

After three years of asset purchases, negative interest rates and cheap loans, the European Central Bank is finally confident that it has beaten the risk of deflation in the euro area. Now it’s time to start thinking about how to unwind those extraordinary measures.

It won’t be simple. The ECB’s mandate is to keep inflation just below 2 percent, but to judge its progress it looks at a range of key economic and market indicators.

The ECB on July 20 left interest rates unchanged and deferred the delicate decision of how and when to venture the next step toward policy normalization until later this year. Click through the timeline to see how key indicators have weighed on the central bank.