p ECB acts to boost struggling eurozone | 2019-03-09

ECB acts to boost struggling eurozone


9th March, 2019 09:30:34 printer

ECB acts to boost struggling eurozone


Interest rates in the eurozone will not rise until next year at the earliest, the European Central Bank has signalled amid evidence of a slowdown in the 19 countries using the single currency.


The ECB also unveiled a round of fresh stimulus, offering banks cheap loans to try to help revive the economy.


The unexpected moves came as the bank made sharp cuts to its forecasts for both growth and inflation this year.


The announcement sent the euro down by 0.6% against the dollar.


Against the pound, it dropped by 0.1%.


The central bank said rates would remain at their present levels "at least through the end of 2019" rather than its previous guidance of "at least through the summer".


Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, said economic data showed a "sizeable moderation" in growth.


He said economic growth in the euro area was now expected to be 1.1% this year, as against a previous forecast of 1.7%. Inflation is expected to be 1.2%, down from an earlier forecast of 1.6%.


As well as a slowdown in the eurozone - Italy tipped into recession at the end of last year - Mr Draghi also pointed to the impact of trade wars and other factors.