ECB to keep interest rates unchanged at least through end of 2019
The European Central Bank (ECB) Thursday announced to keep the key interest rates for the euro area unchanged at least through the end of 2019.
The eurozone base interest rate will remain at 0.00 percent, with the marginal lending rate and deposit rate staying at 0.25 percent and minus 0.40 percent respectively, according to the central bank.
Previously, the ECB had always expected the key interest rates to remain at their present levels "at least through the summer of 2019".
The change of the forward guidance for interest rates reflects the rising downside pressures on economic growth of the single currency bloc, which is in line with expectation of market analysts.
[File Photo: Xinhua]
The ECB reaffirmed that it intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase program, which ended last December, for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key interest rates.
In addition, the ECB decided to launch a new series of quarterly targeted longer-term refinancing operations, namely
TLTRO-III, which will start in September 2019 and end in March 2021, each with a maturity of two years.
These new operations will help to preserve favorable bank lending conditions and the smooth transmission of monetary policy, the ECB said in its statement.