Asset purchase programme (APP)

On 22 January 2015, the ECB announced the launch of an expanded asset purchase programme (APP). The APP broadened the ECB’s purchases to include bonds issued by euro area central governments, agencies and European institutions (i.e. the public sector purchase programme, or PSPP). This expanded programme encompasses the purchase programme for asset-backed securities (ABSPP) and the purchase programme for covered bonds (CBPP3), which were launched at the end of 2014. On 10 March 2016, the ECB Governing Council took the decision to add a non-bank corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP) to the asset purchase programme. Initially, monthly asset purchases amounted to €60 billion. With effect from 1 April 2016, the volume of monthly net purchases was raised from €60 billion to €80 billion. On 1 April 2017, the volume was scaled back down to €60 billion. From January 2018 to September 2018, €30 billion worth of assets were purchased each month, while only €15 billion worth were purchased each month in the final quarter of the year. No net purchases were made between January and October 2019; however, principal payments from maturing securities are being reinvested (reinvestment phase). This reinvestment is to continue past the date when the Governing Council starts raising interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.

Net purchases were resumed on 1 November 2019 at a monthly pace of €20 billion. On 12 March 2020, the ECB announced a temporary expansion of net asset purchases totalling €120 billion until the end of 2020 in response to the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting economic effects. The Governing Council continues to expect them to run for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates, and to end shortly before it starts raising the key ECB interest rates.

Every week, the latest APP figures are published in the Eurosystem's consolidated weekly financial statement.