ECB Bought 62.4 Billion Euros in Bonds in January as QE Reviewedby
Central banks resumed purchases after suspension for holidays
Governing Council will review stimulus at March 10 meeting
The European Central Bank spent 62.4 billion euros ($68 billion) on debt in January, returning its quantitative-easing program to full strength after a winter break.
Holdings of public and private-sector debt under QE climbed to 712.3 billion euros last month, data on the ECB’s website showed on Monday. Of that, 544.2 billion euros was public-sector debt, with 150.5 billion euros accounting for covered bonds and 17.6 billion euros for asset-backed securities.
The ECB decided last month to review its stimulus program, which also includes a negative deposit rate, as slumping oil prices and a global trade slowdown undermine its efforts to revive euro-area inflation. Policy makers will decide on March 10 whether more action is needed.
Public-sector debt holdings rose by 53 billion euros last month, covered bonds by 7.2 billion euros, and ABS by 2.3 billion euros, the data showed. The pace of bond-buying in January compared with a total of 50.3 billion euros in December. The ECB suspended purchases between Dec. 22 and Jan. 1 in anticipation of lower liquidity.