"Good availability of credit at affordable cost is essential to the eurozone economy," said Marie Diron, senior economic adviser to Ernst & Young.

Analysts say it would be hard for the ECB to follow other central banks and do quantitative easing through bond purchases. Such a move would likely face resistance from the eurozone's largest economy, Germany, which has a strong aversion to measures that might risk inflation or excessively support government finances. It would also raise the difficult question of which country's bonds to buy â¿¿ an issue faced only by the ECB as a multinational central bank.

However, analyst Michael Schubert at Commerzbank predicted the ECB would hold off any further action, especially if the recovery comes through. "Since we think a stabilization is more likely, we stick to our forecast of no further ECB action in coming quarters," he said.

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