The European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low as policy makers start to consider how to scale back the crisis-fighting measures introduced over the past two years.
The ECBÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Governing Council meeting in Frankfurt today set the benchmark lending rate at 1 percent for a 16th month, as predicted by all 51 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The ECB will not raise its key rate until the third quarter of 2011, a separate survey showed. President Jean-Claude Trichet holds a press conference at 2:30 p.m.
The euro has rebounded 10 percent since June and stocks have jumped as the debt crisis that threatened to splinter the currency eases and the growth outlook improves. While economists say Trichet is unlikely to outline his exit plans until next month, a successful round of banking stress tests and GreeceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s progress in cutting its budget deficit may prompt officials to discuss laying the groundwork for removing stimulus.
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