Funding banks via longer-term refinancing operations has been a key feature of ECB monetary policy in recent years. With the latest of these, the ECB has succeeded in encouraging banks to increase lending to the private sector.
The euro area economy has now benefited from four years of unbroken growth, and this is expected to continue. The evolution of the global economy will be affected by the economic policy of the new US administration. A potential increase in protectionist actions may impair the expansion of the global economy and trade.