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ECB holds fire on sovereign bonds

The European Central Bank will decide early next year whether it needs to take more action to revive the eurozone economy, ECB president Mario Draghi said yesterday.

The bank's governing council was unanimous in its willingness to launch measures such as a government bond-buying programme if necessary, Mr Draghi said after the ECB kept borrowing costs at a record low.

The eurozone's central bank has set itself a goal of expanding its balance sheet - buying assets from banks and other entities with cash in the hope that funds will be pushed into the economy - by possibly as much as €1 trillion.

Also yesterday, forecasts by ECB staff downgraded the bloc's growth outlook for next year to 1pc. Growth of 1.6pc was predicted in September.