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While the ECB's 2.55 trillion euro ($3.10 trillion) bond purchase programme, has cut borrowing costs and kick-started growth, although with no inflationary effect, policymakers will need to end the indefinite growth of money.

Draghi said risks related to the threat of protectionism had become "more prominent" but stressed the bank was confident that it was on the right track towards gradually weaning the economy off an unprecedented period of stimulus.

"The bottom line is. caution in reading these developments, caution tempered by an unchanged confidence in convergence of inflation to our inflation aim", he said. It is up around 1.5 percent against the USA dollar so far this year and was trading at $1.2155 shortly after 1 p.m. London time.

If growth slows significantly, the central bank could face pressure to extend its 30 billion euros ($36 billion) in bond purchases.

Claus Vistesen of Pantheon Macroeconomics said Draghi's statement about a focus on recent data "could be interpreted as a sign that the central bank is making the incoming [three months to June] data conditional on how it intends to proceed with QE". But with the risk of a global trade war still looming, it may not make a decision until absolutely necessary.

The ECB's interest rate on its main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at zero, 0.25 and -0.40 percent respectively.

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The main refi rate is now at a record low zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.40 percent.

Draghi said: 'The interesting thing is that we didn't discuss monetary policy per se. But a slew of recent data suggests the eurozone area has lost some of its momentum.

While the trade tensions have so far mostly been limited to "rhetoric", the European Central Bank chief warned "obviously" [they] can't know what are going to be the direct effects of potential retaliation if the U.S. threats become reality.

A stronger euro would cap inflation, but would affect growth and exports. However, frequent suggestions of underlying weak inflation have called that timeline into question.

The impact of the euro's strength has been relatively limited so far, however.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


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