In the post meeting press conference, ECB President Mario Draghi said the assessment of risks was a focal point in the discussion during the meeting. And he’d summarize the discussions with “continuing confidence with increasing caution”.

ECB lowered both 2018 and 2019 growth forecast. Growth is now projected to be at 1.9% in 2018 (prior 2.0%), 1.7% in 2019 (1.8% prior), 1.7% in 2020 (unchanged) and 1.5% in 2021 (new). Draghi said that risks are “broadly balanced” but balance of risks is “moving to the downside”. He noted “persistence uncertainties” related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and financial market volatility”, as reasons.

On HICP inflation, it’s now projected to be at 1.8% in 2018 (1.7% prior), 1.6% in 2019 (1.7% prior), 1.7% in 2020 (unchanged), 1.8% in 2021 (new). ECB noted that headline inflation is likely to fall over the coming months “On the basis of current futures prices for oil”. Underlying inflation remains “generally muted”. Though, “domestic cost pressures are continuing to strengthen and broaden”.

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Full introductory statement and press conference live stream here.

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