ECB 'strengthens' guidance but keeps policy on hold

ECB governing council

The European Central Bank (ECB) "strongly emphasised" its commitment to accommodative monetary policy today, but dismissed the need to dip into its toolkit for at least another month.

The governing council agreed to keep the benchmark interest rate at 0.25%, notwithstanding the fall in annual HICP inflation from 0.9% in November to 0.8% in December.

Mario Draghi, the ECB president, says the drop was "broadly as expected" and attributes it to a technical adjustment in the inflation statistics use

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