ECB Hits Balance-Sheet Milestone With Inflation Elusive: Chart

When Mario Draghi said in September 2014 that he’d boost the European Central Bank’s balance sheet to early-2012 levels, or about 3 trillion euros ($3.4 trillion), that was seen as appropriate for guiding euro-area inflation back to the goal of just under 2 percent. Less than two years later, with fresh stimulus programs under way, the ECB president has reached that asset milestone -- but inflation is still lacking. While that’s partly because of an unforeseen drop in oil prices and a global economic slowdown, it’s also a cautionary tale to be wary of specific markers in an era when policy makers are struggling to restore price stability.

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