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European Central Bank leaves interest rates unchanged

By Jeff Davies

The European Central Bank decided on Wednesday to keep the interest rates unchanged. The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively, the ECB’s press release read.

Policymakers said they intend to hold the rates at present levels “at least through the end of 2019” or for as long as it takes to secure sustained convergence of inflation to levels below, but nevertheless close to, 2% in the medium run.

The Governing Council will keep reinvesting the cash from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase program “past the date when it starts raising key ECB interest rates,” the release read. The program was introduced in March 2015, when the bank bought more than 2.6 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion) in assets to curb deflationary forces and rebuild confidence in the euro area.

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