The European Central Bank has -for the fourth month running – kept interest rates at a record low one percent.
ECB economists also raised their estimates for euro zone economic output. For this year, they anticipate a fall of 4.1 percent rather than 4.6 percent and for next year they believe the economy will grow by 0.2 percent, revised up from the previous forecast of a 0.3 percent decline. Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the euro zone faced a very gradual recovery: “Uncertainty is high, so I insist that if I have a message on behalf of the Governing Council it is that prudence and caution are still, if I may (say) of the essence.” Trichet is in London this weekend for the G20 finance ministers’ meeting where he will join the chorus saying it is too early to end exceptional stimulus measures to boost the global economy. The ministers and central bankers will also discuss how to cement the recovery over the coming months.