ECB President says the bank was looking at options to ensure it could pursue its unprecedented money-printing programme, with euro zone inflation still way below its official target. (Rough cut only - no reporter narration)
ROUCH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank was looking at options to ensure it could pursue its unprecedented money-printing programme, with euro zone inflation still way below its official target. However the bank stopped short of confirming a specific extension of its 80-billion-euro monthly asset purchases, reaffirming its existing line that they would continue until next March or beyond if necessary. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARIO DRAGHI, ECB PRESIDENT, SAYING: "We will preserve the very substantial amount of monetary support that is embedded in our staff projections and that is necessary to secure a return of inflation to levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term. If warranted, we will act by using all the instruments available within our mandate. "The economic recovery in the euro area is expected to be dampened by still subdued foreign demand, partly related to the uncertainties following the UK referendum outcome, the necessary balance sheet adjustments in a number of sectors and a sluggish pace of implementation of structural reforms. The risks to the euro area growth outlook remain tilted to the downside and relate mainly to the external environment ......This assessment is broadly reflected in the September 2016 ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area, which foresee annual real GDP increasing by 1.7% in 2016, by 1.6% in 2017 and by 1.6% in 2018. Compared with the June 2016 Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the outlook for real GDP growth has been revised downwards slightly. "This pattern is also reflected in the September 2016 ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area, which foresee annual HICP inflation at 0.2% in 2016, 1.2% in 2017 and 1.6% in 2018. In comparison with the June 2016 Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the outlook for HICP inflation is broadly unchanged. "The implementation of structural reforms needs to be substantially stepped up to reduce structural unemployment and boost potential output growth in the euro area. Structural reforms are necessary in all euro area countries. "Fiscal policies should also support the economic recovery, while remaining in compliance with the fiscal rules of the European Union. Full and consistent implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact over time and across countries remains crucial to ensure confidence in the fiscal framework. At the same time, all countries should strive for a more growth-friendly composition of fiscal policies.