The European Central Bank plans to temporarily ramp up its programme of bond purchases in May and June to take into account the usual summer lull on the financial markets, executive board member Benoit Coeure said Tuesday.
"We are ... aware of seasonal patterns in fixed-income market activity with the traditional holiday period from mid-July to August characterised by notably lower market liquidity," Coeure told a conference in London.
The ECB and the national central banks of the euro area were "taking this into account" when implementing the purchase programme, Coeure said.
It would "moderately frontload its purchase activity in May and June," enabling it to maintain its monthly average of 60 billion euros ($67 billion), "while having to buy less in the holiday period," the board member said.
"If need be, the frontloading may be complemented by some backloading in September when market liquidity is expected to improve again. The slightly higher purchase volume that market analysts may observe in the coming weeks is therefore unrelated to the recent episode of market volatility," Coeure said.
In March, the ECB embarked on a programme of so-called quantitative easing or QE, buying up 1.14 trillion euros in all -- at a monthly rate of 60 billion euros per month -- until September 2016.
The aim is to inject liquidity into the financial system and push up the eurozone's chronically low rate of inflation.
The ECB believes the policy is already beginning to work and inflation rates in countries such as Germany and France area gradually moving upwards.