The European Central Bank has left interest rates in the 13-nation eurozone unchanged at 4.0%.
The decision came shortly after the Bank of England also left UK rates unchanged, at 5.75%. European Central Bank policymakers in Frankfurt took the decision despite the strength of the euro, which this week moved to new territory beyond $1.47. The strong euro makes European exports more expensive to customers outside the single currency zone.
Before the credit crunch hit global markets in the summer, the ECB had been expected to raise rates to 4.5% by the end of the year, but the consensus is now for them to remain unchanged in December. At a news conference in Frankfurt, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet explained the decision, saying there were still “upside risks” to inflation. But he recognized that there was “continued uncertainty” in financial markets. As a result, he said that the ECB’s rate-setters would “monitor very closely all developments”. (BBC)