European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde.
Francesco Secco | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images
London – IN European Central Bank Interest rates were kept unchanged on Thursday, as euro nations continue to struggle with the surge in Covid-19 cases and subsequent lockdowns. But it repeated that it “stands ready” to amend its tools if the economic situation does not improve.
The ECB’s major refinancing operations, marginal lending facility and deposit facility will remain at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50%, respectively. statement.
The European Central Bank ramped up its massive stimulus program in Dec To support the economic recovery in the region. The Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program has been extended through March 2022, with a total value of 1.85 trillion euros ($ 2.25 trillion) in bond purchases. This allows eurozone governments to get cheaper rates when borrowing from the public markets.
However, there are doubts about how the eurozone will handle this year, after GDP fell 7.3% last year, according to European Central Bank forecast.
The new year began with tighter social restrictions and national lockdowns in many of the nineteen countries that share a single currency. Germany this week, for example, extended the national lockdown until February 14th. The Netherlands announced that there will be a curfew starting next week. France chose to intensify curfew hours earlier this month, while Portugal will close schools from Friday.
There was more than one 16 million cases of Covid-19 virus In the European Union and more than 400,000 deaths so far, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
“The Governing Council continues to prepare to adjust all its tools, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards its target in a sustainable manner,” the European Central Bank said in a statement.
European leaders hope to speed up vaccinations in the coming months as a way to contain the spread of the virus and its economic impact. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has required member states to vaccinate at least 70% of the adult population by the summer.
Despite the turbulent situation, the European Central Bank held fast to its growth forecast for this year. “I think our latest forecast in December is still very reasonable,” said Christine Lagarde, the president of the central bank, speaking at an event earlier this month. In December, the bank estimated the GDP rate of 3.9% for 2021 and 2.1% for 2022.