European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says it's too soon to declare victory over weak inflation — indicating it's too early to set a definite end date for the bank's money-printing stimulus despite a strengthening economy.

Draghi's statement Monday prepared for a session of the European parliament in Strasbourg, France, called for "patience and persistence" in approaching monetary policy.

He said that continuing economic growth means inflation will eventually tick up toward the bank's goal of just under 2 percent. Right now it is at an annual 1.3 percent.

Draghi offered no hint of change in the bank's statement that it would continue purchasing 30 billion euros ($37 billion) per month in bonds at least through September, and longer if necessary. The purchases pump newly created money into the economy.