The European Central Bank is the independent central bank that governs monetary policy in the Eurozone. Though it is not formally an inflation-targeter, it aims primarily to maintain the euro's purchasing power in the euro area. Towards this end, the ECB formulated a monetary strategy based on the 'twin pillars' of price stability (annual inflation below but close to 2% over the medium term) and a compatible money supply growth rate (around 4.5% annual M3 growth). The ECB uses a variety of tools to achieve its goals, such as interest rates on loans to banks and open market operations. The global credit crisis starting late 2007 behooved the ECB to modify its lending and deposit facilities and expand its policy toolbox to include outright asset purchases and FX swaps.
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