ECB holds interest rate at 0% and expanded its emergency bond-buying program by €500 billion

The European Central Bank on Thursday kept its key interest rates at historic lows and expanded its stimulus program.

The 25-member governing council left its benchmark refinancing rate at 0% and its deposit rate at negative 0.5% — meant to encourage banks to lend money rather than to hold onto it.

It also expanded its emergency bond-buying program by €500 billion ($604 billion), bringing it to a total of €1.85 trillion.

This will be achieved with newly-printed money; it aims to drive down longer-term borrowing costs and help keep credit affordable and plentiful for consumers, businesses and governments.

The program has been extended to the end of March 2022, from its original expiration date of June 2021.

Take a look at the introductory statement and press conference directly on the ECB web site >>

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