Another possibility could be allowing banks to have ECB credit for periods longer than the current 3-month maximum â¿¿ as the bank has already done several times. In late 2011, and again in early 2012, the ECB issued just over 1 trillion euros in low-interest, three-year loans to banks. The measure did help stabilize the eurozone's banks but did not stimulate much new lending to companies.
Draghi said any new approach "wasn't an obvious action" and that the bank was "thinking 360 degrees" on new tactics.
The eurozone is stuck in recession and the ECB says it will shrink 0.5 percent this year, though it predicts a gradual recovery later in 2013.
The ECB president stuck to his forecast for a recovery, but said it was "subject to downside risk." Weak economic indicators suggest that the currency union's economy shrank in the first quarter for the sixth quarter in a row."We will assess all incoming data and we stand ready to act," Draghi said. The ECB would consider the experience of other countries but do what was best-suited to Europe's institutions, Draghi added. His remarks came hours after the Bank of Japan announced a massive expansion of its efforts to increase the supply of money in the economy. The Bank of Japan, Bank of England and the U.S. Federal Reserve have all bought bonds as a way of pumping new money into the economies. This technique, called quantitative easing, can boost growth at the risk of inflation down the road. Instead, the ECB has focused on how to transmit its low rates throughout the eurozone. The problem is that banks in countries with troubled financial system are not passing on these rates to customers and companies. In the eurozone, 80 percent of company financing comes from banks â¿¿ as opposed to selling bonds, the more common source of financing in the U.S.