Mario Draghi, ECB president, said demand in the 19-nation single currency area remains "resilient" but was concerned over the possible repercussions on growth and inflation from weaker growth in emerging markets.
"Most notably, the strength and persistence of the factors that are currently slowing the return of inflation to levels below, but close to 2% in the medium term require through analysis," he said, adding that "the degree of monetary policy accommodation will need to be re-examined at our December monetary policy meeting."
As in September, Draghi underscored the willingness and ability of the ECB's governing council "to act by using all the instruments available within its mandate if warranted in order to maintain an appropriate degree of monetary accommodation."
Since then inflation in the euro area has again turned negative, with consumer prices falling by 0.1 percent in September, the first negative reading in six months, due to lower energy prices.
In September ECB staff lowered its 2015 inflation forecast by 0.2 percentage points to 0.1 percent and the 2016 forecast to 1.1 percent from 1.5 percent forecast in June.
By 2016 and 2017 inflation is expected to pick up but Draghi cautioned that risks stemming from the economic outlook could further slow down the rise in consumer prices, signaling that ECB staff is likely to lower their forecasts once again.
"The risks to the euro area growth outlook remain on the downside," Draghi said, adding that developments in emerging markets had the potential to further weigh on demand for euro area exports and the increased uncertainty in financial markets could also have "negative repercussions for euro area domestic demand."
After cutting its benchmark refinancing rate to effectively zero in September 2014 - it was cut to 0.05 percent and has been maintained at that level since then - the ECB in March embarked on asset purchases, or quantitative easing in an attempt to boost inflation and growth.
Draghi again pointed out that the purchases of mainly euro area government bonds are intended to run until the end of September 2016, or longer if necessary in order to ensure that inflation rises towards the ECB's target.
The effect of the asset purchases and low rates has helped boost bank lending in the euro area, with credit standards lower on loans to businesses though they had tightened on loans to households for home purchases, Draghi said.
The economy of the euro zone is expected to continue to recover though the pace will be somewhat dampened by weaker foreign demand, Draghi said.
Growth in the third quarter should be largely similar to the second quarter when Gross Domestic Product expanded by an annual 1.5 percent, up from 1.2 percent in the first quarter.
In September the ECB trimmed its 2015 growth forecast to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent and the 2016 forecast to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent.
The European Central Bank issued the following introductory statement to its news conference in Malta by Mario Draghi, president of the ECB: