July 3 - It'll be all about the details of the last stimulus measures rather than any new ones when the European Central Bank holds its monthly meeting. But as Sonia Legg reports they still matter.
No shocks from the ECB this month but then the dust is a still settling after last month's earthquake. Interest rates remain at a record low 0.15% with the deposit rate for banks below zero. ECB President Mario Draghi says the raft of measures introduced last month need time to work. (SOUNDBITE) (English): MARIO DRAGHI, ECB PRESIDENT, SAYING: "The key ECB interest rates will remain at present levels for an extended period of time in view of the current outlook for inflation." Inflation remained at 0.5% last month - well below the ECB's 2% target and firmly in Draghi's danger zone But there are no signs people or firms are deferring spending on the expectation of lower prices. If that were to happen - Draghi says tools like quantitative easing could be an option. (SOUNDBITE) (English): MARIO DRAGHI, ECB PRESIDENT, SAYING: "The Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to also using unconventional instruments within its mandate, should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation." Some believe the ECB's final weapon should be deployed now. But BGC's Mike Ingram says that's unlikely. (SOUNDBITE) (English): MIKE INGRAM MARKET COMMENTATOR, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "I am not entirely sure they will ever be able to pull the trigger on U.S.-style QE in the meantime, they are hoping that merely talking about it is going to have a stimulating effect. I have no doubt that is where the ECB needs to go, whether they will ever be able to get there is a very big question." One change which did surprise was a new schedule - the ECB will meet every six weeks instead of every four from January. It's meant to reduce market speculation but Trevor Williams from Lloyds says that's not necessarily a good thing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Trevor Williams, Chief Economist, Lloyds, saying: "Volatility in market terminology is almost at record lows - at least at pre-crash levels of 2007 - and so you could almost argue that the market needs a bit of volatility, and if the meeting creates it then perhaps that is not necessarily such a bad thing." Draghi might not agree - he clearly prefers a slow and steady approach.