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ECB officials saw little contagion from Italy’s debt woes

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 file photo, the President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi waits for the beginning of a press conference following the meeting of the governing council in Frankfurt, Germany. Draghi warns that slowing world trade is proving to be a drag on the eurozone economy but says the current expansion remains “resilient” as consumers at home remain willing to spend and unemployment falls thanks to pro-business reforms. Draghi said in a speech Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 in Frankfurt that “there is certainly no reason why the expansion in the euro area should abruptly come to an end.” (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Top officials at the European Central Bank expressed concern at their last rate-setting meeting about higher government borrowing costs for Italy but saw little evidence that the debt troubles were spreading to other eurozone countries.

The written account released Thursday of the Oct. 25 meeting of the bank’s 25-member governing council revealed discussion of increasing borrowing costs for “one large euro area country” but that “contagion” to other markets or countries “had so far remained limited.”

The officials were concerned bigger deficits in indebted countries could hurt market confidence. Italy has the second highest debt level in the eurozone, at 132 percent of GDP.

The officials reiterated their stance that they saw an “on-going, broad-based recovery” and that they would end their bond purchase stimulus at year end.

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