The key interest rate in the eurozone remains at the record low of zero percent, at least until the summer of next year. This was confirmed by ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday after the meeting of the Council of the Central Bank. However, the ECB is sticking to its plan to end purchases of government and government bonds issued by eurozone countries at the end of the year.
Draghi was also confident that a solution could be found for the dispute between the EU Commission and Italy over the country’s budgetary policy. But he made clear that the ECB insists on compliance with the rules of the Stability Pact.
In addition to the zero interest rate , which has been at a record low since March 2016, the Governing Council of the ECB also left the interest rate that banks must pay on deposits at the central bank at minus 0.4 percent. In recent months, the ECB has halved its bond purchases to a level of 15 billion euros per month. In total, since March 2015, it has purchased more than € 2.5 trillion worth of paper.
The aim is to boost lending in the euro area, which in turn boosts growth and ultimately inflation. The ECB is aiming for an inflation rate of two percent. Draghi has not yet reached that, although it was at 2.1 percent in September. However, the ECB is responsible for the widely fluctuating prices for energy and food.