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Economists believe European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, left, may begin purchase of asset-backed securities at a bank rate-setting meeting on Thursday, a move that would be welcomed by French President Francois Hollande, right.
Economists believe European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, left, may begin purchase of asset-backed securities at a bank rate-setting meeting on Thursday, a move that would be welcomed by French President Francois Hollande, right.
(PHILIPPE WOJAZER/REUTERS)

Slumping growth may force ECB to resort to stimulus this week

As Europe displays more and more of the characteristics of Japan’s lost decade in the 1990s, when the country was trapped by chronic low growth and inflation, the European Central Bank is moving closer to launching a radical program to restore growth and prevent prices from falling. That moment could come this week.