Euro zone interest rates unchanged

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Euro zone interest rates unchanged

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At their first meeting of the new year, European Central Bank policymakers have kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of one percent for the eighth month running.

Economists believe they will remain at that level well into the second half of the year as the ECB waits for the region’s economic recovery to firm up.

The central bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is sticking to a cautiously optimistic view on the recovery.

He said: “The governing council expects the euro area economy to grow at a moderate pace in 2010, recognising that the recovery process is likely to be uneven and that the outlook remains subject to uncertainty.”

At the same time there was good news on the pace of the euro zone’s recovery in the final months of 2009.

New figures from the EU’s statistics office show that in November industrial production rose twice as much as expected month-on-month.

It jumped one percent thanks to strong output of intermediate and durable consumer goods.

The October figures were also revised upwards.