UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday reiterated its monetary easing policy, pledging to keep interest rates stable beyond the end of bond purchases, which he said would extend if necessary.
The central bank kept interest rates at record low levels and confirmed continued quantitative easing through bond purchases worth 30 billion euros ($ 36.5 billion) a month until the end of September at least or until a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation.
With the eurozone economy growing for the 20th straight quarter, policymakers are now debating the ways and timing of curbing stimulus in the hope that rapid and creative employment growth will eventually raise inflation back to the target of nearly 2 percent.
But weaker-than-expected economic data in recent months and thin inflation readings this year suggest the bank will take a gradual approach to stopping stimulus, raising the risk of too much caution and withdrawing support very slowly.
The central bank decided on Thursday to keep overnight overnight deposit rates, the key interest rate, at -0.40 percent.
The key refinancing rate, which sets the cost of credit in the economy, remained unchanged at 0 percent and the marginal lending rate – the one-night overnight overnight borrowing rate – remained at 0.25 percent.