5 Mar 2010

ECB and BoE hold rates again

4:31 pm on 5 March 2010

The European Central Bank has kept the eurozone interest rate at its record low of 1% for the 10th consecutive month.

The decision was expected. The ECB also signalled it would scale back special lending measures introduced during the financial crisis.

ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet said that economic recovery in the euro area was "on track but will remain uneven".

The BBC reports worries remain about Greece's ability to tackle its debt burden despite its announcement of new austerity plans.

But Mr Trichet dismissed suggestions that Greece could leave the euro as "an absurd hypothesis".

"As president of the ECB I am making a very positive judgement on the decisions Greece has taken, they are convincing in our eyes."

Earlier on Thursday, the Bank of England held its key interest rate at 0.5%, for the 12th consecutive month.

Mr Trichet said the bank would now begin withdrawing some of the measures put in place. The interest rate charged for three-month loans at the benchmark rate will return to a variable rate from 28 April.

Eurozone interest rates have been at 1% since May last year.