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European Central Bank: Eurozone Economy to Improve, but there are Risks - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Frankfurt-The eurozone economy should continue to improve slowly, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, with inflation creeping up in the coming months.

But the risks are to the downside, he said, meaning performance is more likely to be worse than better.

Draghi said it was mainly economic events outside the euro zone that would affect the economy.

“The economic recovery in the euro area is expected to be dampened by subdued foreign demand,” he told a news conference in the German city of Frankfurt following the ECB’s decision to leave monetary policy unchanged.

“We will continue to act, if warranted by using all the instruments available in our mandate,” he said.

The ECB kept its key interest rates at record lows at its policy meeting on Thursday.

The ECB’s governing council voted, as expected, to keep the benchmark “refi” refinancing rate at an all-time low of zero percent, a spokesman said.

Policymakers also made no changes to the ECB’s massive 80-billion-euro a month bond-buying scheme designed to encourage spending and investment.

“The governing council confirms that the monthly asset purchases of 80 billion euros are intended to run until the end of March 2017, or beyond, if necessary,” it said.