FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that an uneven economic recovery in the euro zone and the bloc’s inflation outlook meant interest rates would stay low for an extended period.
“The key ECB interest rates would remain at the present level for an extended period of time in view of the current outlook for inflation,” Draghi told a news conference after the bank left interest unchanged at record lows.
Risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area remained on the downside, in particular due to heightened geopolitical factors and developments in emerging market economies, he said.
“Moreover the (ECB) governing council is unanimous in its commitment to also using unconventional instruments within its mandate should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation.”
Earlier, the ECB said its Governing Council had decided to leave its main refinancing rate unchanged at a record low of 0.15 percent, as expected.
Data this week showed Italy, the third-biggest euro zone economy, has slipped back into recession while the Bundesbank says even powerhouse Germany stagnated in the second quarter.
Writing by by John Stonestreet,