ECB announces plans to end Eurozone stimulus program this year

AP

The European Central Bank (ECB) says it will phase out its bond-buying stimulus program at the end of the year.

The program has driven down borrowing costs and supported an economic recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro.

The bank said after Thursday’s meeting of its 25-member governing council that the purchases would be reduced to €15 billion each month from €30 billion from October, and then wound up completely in December.

The statement also said its interest rates would not rise until at least summer 2019.

The bank’s move toward the exit comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve decide to make its second interest rate increase this year and indicated more were coming. The central banks are withdrawing stimulus efforts that started during the Great Recession as their economies recover.

The European Central Bank’s exit from its bond-buying stimulus program is expected to have far-reaching consequences across the economy.