The euro zone economy is at a turning point but its recovery must be firm and sustainable before the European Central Bank can debate clawing back emergency support, ECB President Christine Lagarde told Politico in an interview.
"I am not suggesting that the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) is going to stop on 31 March," Lagarde was quoted on Monday as saying.
"We have plenty of flexibility, but in terms of economic outlook we are heading in the right direction.
Economists expect the ECB to start discussing the end of PEPP at their September meeting and the vast majority of ECB watchers polled by Reuters do not expect PEPP to be enlarged and extended again.
"We are at a turning point where, bearing in mind alternative (virus) variants, we are on that recovery path, heading firmly towards a return to the pre-COVID-19 level," Lagarde added.
Christine Lagarde, Lagarde
European Central Bank, Politico, ECB, Reuters, Thomson