05 September 2013 12:46 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday held its key interest rate at 0.50% as the eurozone economy slowly gathers pace.
The bank has held the interest rate at the same level since May 2013, when it was cut by 0.25% in a bid to stabilise the European recovery.
Growth figures for the eurozone have continued to improve in recent months. The latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data from analyst Markit for the bloc’s manufacturing sector showed growth levels of 51.4 in August, a 26-month high, and a significant increase on the previous month’s figure of 50.4. All PMI figures above 50.0 indicate economic expansion.
The Organisation for Eonomic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also noted this week that the region has emerged from recession overall, despite persistent weak output in some parts of the eurozone. The economic body predicted that German GDP would be 0.7% this year, while the French economy would grow by 0.3%. Another key eurozone economy, Italy, is likely to contract by 1.8% in 2013, however, the OECD added.
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