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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.50 percent on Thursday, as recent economic data has kindled hopes of a recovery taking hold this quarter.
Euro zone private industry unexpectedly bounced back to growth in July. Factories increased output for the first time in well over a year, business surveys showed.
Euro zone inflation was steady at 1.6 percent in July. The ECB's goal is just below 2 percent.
The ECB also left the rate on its deposit facility at 0.0 percent and held its marginal lending facility - or emergency borrowing rate - at 1.00 percent.
The markets now turn their attention to ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference, scheduled to begin at 1230 GMT, where he will be asked about the central bank's future plans.
Reporting by Sakari Suoninen. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.