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ECB policymaker says decision to cut asset purchases likely in summer

The European Central Bank, or ECB, is likely to scale back its extraordinary monetary stimulus this summer if economic growth continues as expected, said ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny at a March 27 news conference.

"This purchase program runs until the end of September 2018. We will have to decide in summer what happens next," Nowotny was quoted as saying by Reuters. The Austrian central bank governor said there is a possibility that the program will be significantly reduced by summer if things develop as projected, paving the way for an end to quantitative easing.

The ECB dropped forward guidance indicating that it was prepared to step up its quantitative easing if conditions worsen.