ECB president Mario Draghi holds a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, April 10 2019. Picture: REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH
ECB president Mario Draghi holds a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, April 10 2019. Picture: REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH

London — So much for the “soft patch.” Mario Draghi said on Wednesday that the current slowdown marring the eurozone could continue during 2019, a possible acknowledgement that the European Central Bank’s (ECB's) confidence in the chance of a second-half pickup is dwindling.

“Governing Council members are acknowledging the weakening of the cycle, the weakening of the economy, the fact that this weakening will extend into rest of the year,” the ECB president said about the latest policy meeting in Frankfurt.

The euro fell during Draghi’s remarks and was down 0.2% to $1.1243 as of 4.05pm Frankfurt time. German bonds rose, pushing the 10-year yield further below zero.

Draghi also said that the Governing Council had not completely given up hope, though it was ready to act as needed if the situation worsened.

“They acknowledged also the underlying strength of the economy, the fact that some of these temporary factors are unwinding,” he said. “So, it was a meeting where the main goal was to reassert the readiness to act if the contingencies would warrant so.”

Bloomberg