ECB plans to step up stimulus ahead of summer market lull

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A top European Central Bank official says the bank will boost May and June bond purchases intended to stimulate the eurozone's economic recovery.

ECB official Benoit Coeure said Tuesday the bank would buy more in those months so it can buy less in in July and August, when bond market trading slows down.

Coeure said in the text of a speech in London that "moderately front-loading" purchases would permit the bank to stick to its goal of an average of 60 billion euros per month over the course of the purchase program.

The purchases are aimed at raising the rate of inflation from zero, considered too low, toward the bank's goal of just under 2 percent. They should also improve access to credit for businesses to help the economy grow.

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