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Fri, 06 Sep, 2013 12:17:03 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, September 06

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday decided to leave key interest rates unchanged and revised its macroeconomic projections for the eurozone.

Speaking at the news conference following the governing council meeting, ECB president Mario Draghi said he expected "key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time."

It is believed that the ECB is under less pressure to lower the main interest rate, which stands at a record low level of 0.50 percent.

Draghi noted that the euro area real GDP rose by 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2013 after six quarters of negative output growth.

"Output is expected to recover at a slow pace" through 2013 and 2014, said Draghi.

ECB revised the projection for 2013 upwards by 0.2 percentage point and that of 2014 downward by 0.1 percentage point. It foresees the annual real GDP in the euro area to decline by 0.4 percent in 2013 and increase by 1 percent in 2014.

The monetary policy stance of the ECB will remain accommodative for as long as necessary in line with the forward guidance provided in July, Draghi remarked. The monetary policy provides support to a gradual recovery in economic activity, he said.  

 
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