Key interest rate unchanged at 4.0 percent

At it´s meeting yesterday the European Central Bank (ECB) in Vienna decided to leave the three most important key interest rates unchanged at 4.0, 5.0 and 3.0%. At a press conference in the afternoon Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB´s president, gave the reasons for this step.

Mr. Trichet said that the information available to the ECB´s council had confirmed that in the medium-term there were risks of increasing inflation. He also said that the basic economic figures of the economy in the Euro zone support a favourable development of the economy in the medium-term. In this context he mentioned sustainable profit growth, growing employment and decreasing unemployment. However, the recent turbulences on the financial markets have led to uncertainties which cannot be fully assessed on the basis of the economic data currently available. Therefore the ECB had decided not to raise key interest rates for the time being.

This is the second time in a row that the European Central Bank defers raising key interest rates. Back in September it had already left interest rates unchanged. GERMAN