European Central Bank to weigh end to stimulus program

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European Central Bank to weigh end to stimulus program
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 file photo, euro coins and banknotes are shown by a salesclerk at a shop in Vilnius, Lithuania. Italy's economy minister says the new populist government isn't discussing any proposal to leave the eurozone. Minister Giovanni Tria, in an interview Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Corriere della Sera newspaper, said "not only do we not want to exit" the 19-member shared currency union, but the coalition is determined to act so conditions don't occur to "put our presence in the euro(zone) up for discussion." (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is meeting to discuss when and how to end its bond-buying stimulus program, an exit that will have far-reaching consequences across the economy.

The bank, which sets monetary policy for the 19 countries that use the euro, has been buying 30 billion euros (.5 billion) a month in government and corporate bonds from banks. The purchases are slated to run at least through September, and longer if necessary.

Analysts say that decisions on the exit path, which could include several intermediate steps, might come Thursday or at the next meeting, July 26. Scenarios include reducing the purchases past September, and then stopping them at year-end.