Mario Draghi says the ECB is becoming increasingly confident in the euro zone recovery - but that cheap central bank cash is still key. As Silvia Antonioli also reports, a poll finds economists expect the bloc's economy to mark its best year in a decade.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters: NONE Digital: NONE*~ Those campaigning for the benefits of cheap cash will have cheered Mario Draghi's latest speech. The ECB President fuelled hopes that the bank will keep credit cheap for longer and with inflation at 1-point-4 percent he sees good reasons to do so.... SOUNDBITE, MARIO DRAGHI, ECB PRESIDENT, SAYING: ""We aren't yet at the point where the recovery of inflation can be self-sustained without our accommodative policy. A key motor of the recovery remains the very favourable financing conditions facing firms and households, which are in turn heavily contingent on our policy measures." The comments come after a series of surprisingly strong economic indicators in the euro zone of late. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CITY INDEX, MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "He has good reason to feel that he's been vindicated. We are what we are where we are and where we are is actually a really good place. So it's difficult to know what else to attribute that to, than down to the monetary policy which we've seen because we know for a fact that there hasn't really been a great deal of movement on the political policy fiscal policy front." The euro zone recovery has outpaced both Britain and the US for the first time since the financial crisis A Reuters poll which has been tracking the mood since then shows economists were their most upbeat since records began They expect this year to be the best in a decade for the region. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CITY INDEX, MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "It's difficult not to be optimistic about it. It's been a while since you've seen such positive anecdotal signs that back up the, you know, the nascent growth that we're seeing through the data." Economists thought downwards risks at this point were few. Among them: weaker inflation and the 2018 Italian election.