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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 15:19 GMT
Eurozone rate kept on hold
Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude believes the current interest rate will fuel stable growth
The European Central Bank has decided to keep its key interest rate on hold at 2%.

Meeting for the first time since the appointment of the bank's new president Jean-Claude Trichet, its monthly meeting determined that no monetary policy tightening was yet needed in the 12 countries that share the euro.

The decision was universally expected by analysts, despite sluggish economic growth across the eurozone.

Speaking at a press conference after the announcement, Mr Trichet said: "At the present moment we judge that the (current) interest rate is appropriate.

Price stability

"The prospect is for price stability, and we believe that interest rates are appropriate at a time when we are experiencing other decisions in part of the world."

We are paving the way for the financing of growth in Europe that is as easy as possible
Jean-Claude Trichet

After chairing his first policy-setting meeting, Mr Trichet added that the current economic and fiscal situation was "conducive for growth and job's creation".

"By insuring price stability we are paving the way for the financing of growth in Europe that is as easy as possible," he said.

"We are creating a situation that is favourable to growth, one of the most favourable for market growth for 50 years."

Upwards

Analysts believe that the next interest rate move by the ECB will be upwards, but that this could still be some way off.

Eurozone interest rates have now been held at their current levels since the beginning of June, and the euro remained steady against the US dollar on the foreign exchanges following the decision.

Mr Trichet, a Frenchman, took over from Wim Duisenberg last weekend.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bank of England took the decision to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.75%.


SEE ALSO:
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