EZ may face Lengthy Low Inflation

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25 percent as expected, after surprising markets with a rate cut last month.

It also kept its forecast for an economic contraction of 0.4 percent in the euro zone in 2013. For 2014, it expects growth of 1.1 percent, a slight improvement on the 1.0 percent seen in September. For 2015 it forecast growth of 1.5 percent.

At a press conference, ECB President Mario Draghi said that risks to its economic outlook remained on the downside. He also warned the euro zone could face a lengthy bout of low inflation.


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