ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos said that the European Central Bank is likely to keep buying bonds through 2022 to boost the bloc's economy, and may even resume the pandemic emergency bond buys after they expire in March.
The comments suggest that there will be no rate hike next year, given the ECB's policy guideline states that any interest rate hike will occur "shortly after" quantitative easing finishes.
De Guindos, however, was more cautious about 2023, in contrast to fellow Spanish policymaker Pablo Hernandez de Cos, who forecast no rate hike for "some time" after next year, a dovish stance.
"I'm confident that net purchases will continue throughout next year. Beyond that, I'm not sure" said de Guindos.
De Guindos also took a lenient position on the Omicron variant of COVID-19, claiming that the bloc's economy had adjusted well to living during the pandemic and that vaccination progress was being made.
As a result, the 1.85 trillion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) will come to an end in March, but the ECB will keep the programme on standby in case it is needed again.
"Net purchases (under the emergency programme) will conclude in March, according to the President of the ECB. They may, however, be resumed if required" de Guindos said.