FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the European Central Bank’s policy meeting (all times local):
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says the eurozone’s economic upswing is still intact despite “somewhat weaker” data recently.
Draghi said the 19 countries that use the euro are still enjoying an “ongoing broad-based expansion.”
He said economic growth is coming off unusually strong levels seen in 2017. “Is this enough of a change to make us change the baseline scenario? The answer is no.”
He spoke Thursday after the central bank left its key stimulus settings and interest rates unchanged. The ECB stuck with its plan to end its bond-buying stimulus program at year-end, while its benchmark for lending to banks remained at zero and the deposit rate was left at minus 0.4 percent.
The European Central Bank says it is staying on course to wrap up its 2.5 trillion euro ($2.85 trillion) stimulus program at the end of the year, even as risks loom ever larger for to the 19-country eurozone’s economy.
The bank left interest rates and its path to stimulus exit unchanged at its meeting Thursday at its skyscraper headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
It reiterated in a policy statement that its bond-buying stimulus program — scaled back this month to 15 billion euros a month — will end in December.
At his subsequent news conference, bank head Mario Draghi is expected to assess risks from Britain possibly leaving the European Union without a negotiated exit deal, increasing trade protectionism, and Italy’s dispute with EU authorities over its spending plans.
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