The european central bank’s firepower is sadly depleted. The interest rate on the reserves that banks hold with it is sub-zero; its quantitative-easing (qe) scheme has hoovered up assets worth €2.6trn ($2.9trn)—equivalent to over a fifth of the euro area’s gdp. Even so, in June Mario Draghi, the bank’s boss, promised further stimulus if the economy does not buck up. Statistics published since then suggest little recovery. Cue much speculation about another attempt to revive growth.
Many expect an announcement at the bank’s meeting in September, along with updated economic forecasts. But its next gathering on July 25th could still surprise, or at least lay the groundwork for stimulus. With individual instruments nearing limits, it is expected to deploy a combination.