European Central Bank leaves rates at record low as eurozone struggles
AP and AFPFRANKFURT/LONDON--The European Central Bank has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75 percent even though the economy in the euro area remains stuck in recession.
January 11, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The bank held off cutting rates after recent economic survey data supported its position that the economy in the 17 European Union member countries that use the euro will recover gradually this year. The bank sets monetary policy for the eurozone.
Some indicators of business optimism, such as eurozone surveys of purchasing managers and Germany's Ifo institute survey, have risen recently. Nonetheless, survey data remain at levels indicating the eurozone is still in recession — just not shrinking as fast. Greece reported a jobless rate of 26.8 percent on Thursday.
BoE Maintains Rates, Stimulus
The Bank of England on Thursday kept its key interest rate at a record-low level and maintained the amount of cash stimulus being pumped around Britain.
“The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.50 percent,” the BoE said, adding that its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus would remain at 375 billion pounds (US$602 billion, 459 billion euros).