ECB Keeps Monetary Policy Unchanged
As expected, the European Central Bank left interest rates without changes. The ECB's interest rate on its main refinancing operations, its marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at zero, 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively.
"The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019 and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2% over the medium term," the ECB said.
In June, the Central Bank outlined plans to end its massive bond-buying program in December and hinted that interest rates are likely to remain at current ultra-low levels until, at least, the summer of 2019. The ECB also repeated that it expects its asset purchase program to end in December after halving to €15 billion per month from September 2018, from €30 billion at present.
The ECB has already spent around 2.5 trillion euros ($2.93 trillion) buying bonds since 2015 and has kept its deposit rate below zero, effectively charging banks for their idle cash, for four years in a bid to revive inflation.