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ECB leaves interest rates unchanged

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank raised its forecasts for economic growth and inflation for this year and next, but it will nonetheless stick with its easy-money policy, ECB president Mario Draghi said yesterday.

The central bank now expects growth of 1.8 per cent this year and 1.7 per cent next year, compared with earlier forecasts of 1.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively, Mr Draghi said.

Meanwhile, inflation should reach 1.7 per cent this year and 1.6 per cent next year - up from previous predictions of 1.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent.

The ECB left unchanged its forecast of 1.6 per cent GDP growth and inflation for 2019.

Despite the increased forecasts, Mr Draghi said that the ECB would not increase interest rates, which it has long fixed at historic lows, or look to wind down its mass bond-buying programme. - AFP

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