The European Central Bank (ECB) today left its policy interest rates unchanged as expected, holding them at record lows, as it continued an expansionist monetary policy, to lift both inflation and economic growth.
The ECB decision comes after the European banking sector regulator pushed its deposit rate deeper into negative territory last month.
At today's meeting, the ECB kept its rate on banks' overnight deposits, its primary interest rate tool, at (-) 0.40 per cent.
The main refinancing rate, at which it lends to banks, was kept unchanged at 0.00 per cent and the rate on the marginal lending facility – the overnight borrowing rate for banks - at 0.25 per cent.
''At today's meeting the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively,'' an ECB release stated.
ECB said it has started to expand its monthly purchases under the asset purchase programme to €80 billion. ''The focus is now on the implementation of the additional non-standard measures decided on 10 March 2016,'' the bank said, adding, ''Further information on the implementation aspects of the corporate sector purchase programme will be released after the press conference on the ECB's website.''
ECB president Mario Draghi's is expected to provide more details about some of the already announced but not yet implemented measures at a news conference later today.