ECB officials cautious about stimulus withdrawal

Top officials at the European Central Bank at their last meeting had broadly agreed that the economy still needs "very substantial" stimulus — even as they are looking ahead to starting to dial back their support efforts next year.

The written account of the Sept. 7 meeting indicated the bank would only move slowly in phasing out its 60 billion euros ($71 billion) in monthly bond purchases next year.

The account released Thursday showed that there was "broad agreement" that the 19-country eurozone economy still needs extra help despite strengthening growth. Officials expected growth to push inflation closer to their target of just under 2 percent.

Officials thought that "inflation dynamics remain subdued" despite monthly injections of newly printed money into the financial system through bond purchases since March, 2015.