04 April 2013 12:46 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday held its key interest rate at 0.75% despite growing pressure for the bank to take steps to aid the eurozone’s foundering recovery.
Representing the ninth consecutive month that the bank has held its interest rate at that level, the ECB has also held back from deploying any capital through its bond-buying scheme, originally announced in September last year.
In light of the eurozone’s prevailing economic difficulties – GDP for the bloc shrank by 0.6% in 2012 and is expected to contract by 0.3% this year, according to Eurostat – pressure has been building for the bank to cut interest rates to 0.5%, in line with the Bank of England and other key central banks.
On 5 July 2012, the ECB cut interest rates to a record low of 0.75%, following six straight months at 1.0%. In December, the ECB cut interest rates to 1% from 1.25%, following a fall of 25 basis points announced in November.
After October 2008, when the level was at 4.25%, the bank cut its key rate several times as it tried to haul the eurozone economy out of deep recession.
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