The European Central Bank left its key lending rate unchanged at 4.0 percent Thursday as high inflation threatened the euro zone while the Bank of England cut to 5.25 percent to support faltering growth in Britain.
FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank held
interest rates at 4.0 percent on Thursday, as expected, brushing
off calls to help avert a sharp worldwide economic slowdown by
cutting borrowing costs.
All 83 economists polled by Reuters last week expected the
ECB to keep rates unchanged at this month's policy meeting. But
expectations are growing that the ECB will join the U.S. Federal
Reserve, the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada by lowering
rates later this year.
President Jean-Claude Trichet will explain the reasons
behind the ECB's decision at a news conference at 1330 GMT.
Last month he said that ECB policymakers had discussed the
possible need for a rate rise to fight euro zone inflation,
which hit a record high in January.
But recent signs of faltering growth in the 15-member bloc
have added to pressure on the ECB to ease rates -- as the United
States has done aggressively -- to avert a global slowdown.
Date created : 2008-02-07