When policymakers at the European Central Bank meet next week to debate the prospect of a fresh economic stimulus package, one of the key issues on the table will be whether their own measures are doing more harm than good.

The era of unprecedented monetary policy loosening that Mario Draghi launched in 2012 when he declared that he would do "whatever it takes" to support the single currency heralded a shift towards negative interest rates.

The ECB's main deposit rate hit zero that year and successive cuts have left it at -0.4 per cent since 2016.

Liam Dann