"Growth is so good, core inflation is so low", Michael Krautzberger, BlackRock's London-based head of European fixed income, said on Bloomberg TV on Thursday.
All told, eurozone growth during the first quarter was double that of the USA, a welcome development for the central bankers at the ECB ahead of their latest policy decision Thursday afternoon in Tallinn, Estonia.
It kept its easy money policy unchanged as widely expected, however, including its 2.3 trillion euro ($2.59 trillion) bond-buying program and sub-zero interest rates, despite resistance from cash-rich Germany. Asset purchases under the programme are due to continue at least until December at a pace of 60 billion euros per month. Analysts think the purchases will be tapered next year, but the central bank has moved gingerly in indicating when it might be ready to announce a schedule for reducing and then ending them. The purchases with newly printed money are aimed at increasing inflation from its current annual 1.4 percent toward the bank's goal of just below 2 percent.
That's keeping wage growth at bay - or as Draghi put it on May 29 in his final public remarks before Thursday's decision: "We remain firmly convinced that an extraordinary amount of monetary policy support, including through our forward guidance, is still necessary".
Draghi said that the brighter outlook is largely a result of the bank's efforts and the economy still needs central bank support.
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The bank's president, Mario Draghi, was careful not to give a clear signal about when it will start withdrawing stimulus - a measure of the bank's caution about the potential impact such an announcement could have on financial markets.
Gold edged lower early Thursday after a written testimony by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey ahead of his Congressional appearance was seen containing few fireworks, as investors also braced up for the United Kingdom national elections and a policy meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day.
The bank took a tiny step toward an eventual exit from the stimulus by dropping wording in its statement saying it could lower interest rates even further.
Analysts expect that provision to be dropped in coming months as the bank edges toward announcing how it will phase out the bond purchases next year. No change in key rates or policy is expected - rather the focus will be on European Central Bank president Mario Draghi and his post meeting comments in relation likely policy trajectory.
The ECB held Thursday's policy meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, one of the occasional meetings held away from the bank's Frankfurt headquarters.