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QE just the ticket for euro tourists

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 02:24

A week after the ECB began printing money to buy sovereign bonds, Mario Draghi said the bank's stimulus, lower oil prices and structural reforms were helping support growth in the eurozone. As Sonia Legg reports, the low euro is also helping.

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It's a tall order - lifting euro zone inflation from below zero and reviving key economies. But eight days after the ECB's bond-buying programme was launched there are positive signs. The impact on the euro is one of them. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TOURIST FROM CONNECTICUT, LISA, SAYING: "I think it's more likely to make me spend money. So it's easier, you don't feel like you're spending quite so much." (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TOURIST FROM MASSACHUSETTS, JANE SILVERMAN, SAYING: "It definitely was a lot easier coming here because the euro was definitely got more bang for the buck. I stayed in a nicer hotel, we've been able to do a little bit more visiting." The euro and the dollar are almost on a par. It's making the euro zone a far more attractive proposition for visitors than in recent years. But it doesn't mean the ECB's money-printing is a success yet. 9.75 billion euros of public-sector bond purchases were made in the first week. Just 990 billion to go. The ECB is aiming to buy 60 billion euros of mainly sovereign bonds every month until September 2016. That means it needs to up its spending rate over the next few weeks. Will Hobbs is a markets analyst at Barclay's. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL HOBBS, MARKET ANALYST, BARCLAYS, SAYING: "It has certainly supercharged returns in equity markets and it's certainly responsible for some of the amazingly low yields we have seen in Europe so far this year but how long that remains the case is open to debate." The ECB predicts QE will turbo-charge the euro zone and revive bank lending, while also keeping government borrowing costs and market interest rates low. But bank President Mario Draghi says countries must still press on with reforms and called for a "quantum leap" in European integration. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL HOBBS, MARKET ANALYST, BARCLAYS, SAYING: "I think the important thing is you don't just need to be able to sort out supply you also been to have a bit of demand as well and that interestingly that does seem to be coming back." Spring is certainly in the air in parts of Europe - with lower oil prices also fuelling consumer spending (SOUNDBITE)(English) UNITED STATES HOLIDAYMAKER FROM MIAMI, JOAN, SAYING: "I think I will buy some gold jewellery, extra. Today is also my birthday so I owe myself a birthday present." (SOUNDBITE)(English) UNITED STATES HOLIDAYMAKER FROM TEXAS, CHRISTEN, SAYING: "I'm enjoying the extra cash and we'll definitely, probably go shopping later today." Greece isn't included in the QE programme as it's still negotiating a new bailout deal. But the low euro is helping - and that may indirectly help keep the country in the single currency.

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QE just the ticket for euro tourists

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 02:24