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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 14:30 GMT
Eurozone interest rates on hold
Jean-Claude Trichet
The ECB's Trichet is optimistic
The European Central Bank has left its interest rate for the 12 members of the eurozone unchanged at 2%.

The decision was widely expected by analysts and borrowing costs have now been held at their current levels since the start of June.

There have been increasing signs that the region's stagnated economy is finally beginning to pick up, easing the pressure on policy makers.

A stronger euro, meanwhile, has checked inflation and trimmed import costs.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bank of England resisted raising rates and left its borrowing costs on hold at 3.75%.

Strong momentum

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said that "economic activity in the euro area has picked up."

Growth "in the third quarter reflects the strong momentum of the world economy which we assume will continue next year."

"We look forward to a gradual recovery in euro area economic growth over the next quarters, leading to a broader and stronger upswing in the course of next year and the year after."

However, the recovery is still fragile and there are still concerns over the German economy in particular.

Some economists have argued that even though borrowing costs are at their lowest for more than half a century, the euro's gain might open the door for the ECB to cut rates further.

UK interest rates left unchanged
04 Dec 03  |  Business
Positive signs on German economy
21 Nov 03  |  Business
German firms upbeat on growth
28 Oct 03  |  Business
Eurozone giants return to growth
13 Nov 03  |  Business

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