The European Central Bank (ECB) just left its deposit rate untouched at -0.40% following the latest meeting of the bank’s governing council.
The decision was expected and any further easing measures would have been a huge shock to the markets.
Alongside leaving the deposit rate unchanged, the bank left the interest rate on its main refinancing operations and its marginal lending facility unchanged at 0.0% and 0.25% respectively.
While the decision isn’t at all surprising, markets in Europe and across the world will be waiting with bated breath to hear what ECB president Mario Draghi says when he answers questions from journalists later this afternoon.
Draghi will speak in Frankfurt at 12:30 p.m. CET (1:30 p.m. BST; 8:30 a.m. ET) and is likely to reiterate the ECB’s stance that it still has plenty of ammunition left to deal with sluggish growth and inflation in the eurozone.
Draghi will “will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions ” according to an ECB statement released alongside the announcement.
He’s also expected to address continuing worries about the state of the global economy, fears about Europe’s banking system, and the possible introduction of helicopter money in the eurozone.
As it stands, banks have to pay money to leave deposits with the ECB — something it hopes will stir the big lenders to pump money into the economy, rather than keep it back and reduce their own deposit rates, forcing savers to go out and spend or invest their money, helping boost the eurozone’s rock bottom inflation. Inflation in the single currency area is currently flat at 0.0%, according to the latest data from Eurostat.
At last month’s meeting, the ECB went big on new stimulus measures, cutting all of its main rates and extending its program of asset purchases to €80 billion per month, including buying corporate bonds for the first time, having previously restricted bond buying to government debt.