ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged

The European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1 percent for the 14th consecutive month on Thursday amid lingering concerns over the health of the continent’s banking sector.

The ECB’s governing council had been widely expected to leave its refinancing rate where it has been since May 2009. Economic growth in the 16-nation eurozone remains modest and inflation tame — fueling expectations the central bank will stay put for months to come.

After economic activity strengthened during the spring, eurozone gross domestic product is expected to keep growing at “a moderate and still uneven pace” ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said in his opening statement to a post-decision news conference. Inflation rates should remain moderate next year, he added.

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