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European Central Bank chief: Economy still needs stimulus

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says the eurozone economy still needs abundant stimulus to raise inflation to more normal levels even in the midst of a strengthening recovery.

Draghi said Monday that "patience and persistence" are still needed in monetary policy.

He told members of the European Parliament that "the evolution of inflation remains crucially conditional on an ample degree of monetary stimulus."

The ECB has reduced its bond purchase stimulus from 60 billion euros ($74 billion) a month to 30 million euros a month at the start of this year. The bank has said the purchases will continue at least through September and longer if necessary. The purchases pump newly printed money into the economy in hopes of raising inflation from the current annual 1.3 percent.

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