ECB interest rates left at historic lows

(AGI) Frankfurt, Dec 4 - Eurozone growth "has weakened", in acontext characterised by "low inflation" and "highunemployment" even though "the expectation of a modestrecovery" has been confirmed, European Central Bank PresidentMario Draghi told a press conference on Thursday, after, asexpected, the refi rate or refinancing rate was left a recordlow of 0.05 percent. The deposit rate remained negative atminus 0.20 percent, while the marginal rate was unchanged at0.20 percent. The ECB, said Draghi, has reduced its estimatesfor Eurozone GDP compared to the forecast in June. The economyof the area is

(AGI) Frankfurt, Dec 4 - Eurozone growth "has weakened", in acontext characterised by "low inflation" and "highunemployment" even though "the expectation of a modestrecovery" has been confirmed, European Central Bank PresidentMario Draghi told a press conference on Thursday, after, asexpected, the refi rate or refinancing rate was left a recordlow of 0.05 percent. The deposit rate remained negative atminus 0.20 percent, while the marginal rate was unchanged at0.20 percent. The ECB, said Draghi, has reduced its estimatesfor Eurozone GDP compared to the forecast in June. The economyof the area is now expected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2014,against the 0.9 percent forecast in September. In 2015 GDP wasestimated at 1 percent against 1.6 percent in September and 1.5percent in 2016 from 1.9 percent in September. The measurestaken by the ECB will have a "significant impact" on itsbudget, which the Bank aims to bring "to the levels of 2012",and that means around 1000 billion, said Draghi, who for now issaying nothing about quantitative easing (QE) and the purchaseof bonds. Draghi used the phrase "intends to bring down" --rather than the customary "expected to bring down" -- thebudget of the ECB to the levels of 2012. "Let us say 'weintend' is different to 'we expect'," he declared, adding: "Itis an intention rather than an expectation, not a target. Itneeds a big majority on the governing council, but obviouslynot unanimity." According to the president of the ECB, therisks to the economic outlook of the Eurozone "remaindownwards". "In particular, the weak pace of growth of theEurozone and high geopolitical risks could undermine trust andabove all private investment," said Draghi. (AGI) . .