Central bank for euro currency union keeps borrowing benchmark unchanged at record low - InfoNews

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Central bank for euro currency union keeps borrowing benchmark unchanged at record low

A man looks at a display in a shoe store in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Further signs emerged Wednesday to show that the paltry economic recovery in the 17-country eurozone is losing steam. Figures from Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, showed retail sales across the region fell a monthly 0.2 percent in October. That followed a 0.6 percent decline in September and confounded expectations in the markets for a modest increase. Luckily for the eurozone as a whole, its powerhouse economy, Germany, is growing strongly. Tts PMI reading of 55.4 was a 29-month high. Spain was the other bright spot as the eurozone's fourth-largest economy continues to exhibit signs of life in the face of its debt problems and a sky-high unemployment rate of around 26 percent.(AP Photo/Paul White)
December 05, 2013 - 4:48 AM

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank has left its key interest rate unchanged, even though the economic recovery remains weak in the 17 countries that use the euro currency.

The eurozone's chief monetary authority left its benchmark rate at 0.25 per cent at a meeting Thursday at its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

The ECB held off on further action to stimulate the weak recovery, following a surprise quarter-point rate cut at last month's meeting.

The refinancing rate determines what banks pay to borrow from the ECB and influences borrowing costs for businesses and consumers. In theory, lower rates let businesses borrow more easily so they can invest and create jobs.

But some banks are unwilling to lend at those low rates because they're worried about the economy and focused on fixing their finances.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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