Monday 19 March 2018

ECB leaves key lending rate unchanged

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi
President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi

Charlie Weston, Personal Finance Editor

THE European Central Bank left its key lending rate unchanged today, in a move that was widely expected.

President of the ECB Mario Draghi is likely to point later this afternoon to a weak eurozone economy and may hint it needs more help.

With latest data showing joblessness at a record high in the euro zone, Mr Draghi said the long-term plan is to keep interest rates at historic lows.

And concerns about political tensions in Portugal are also an issue as the country’s prime minister tried to defuse a crisis that has seen ministers resign and which could derail the country’s efforts to emerge from an international bailout.

This means that a rate cut later in the year is a possibility which would benefit some 375,000 people here who have tracker mortgages.

Rates were cut in May to a record low of 0.5pc. Another cut may be needed if the struggling eurozone economy does not pick up, economists said.


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