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Dec 4, 2014 8:56 AM

ECB says decision on new stimulus likely next year

The Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says the bank has "stepped up" preparations for launching new stimulus measures but expects to make a decision on any new steps "early next year."

Draghi didn't unveil further stimulus on Thursday after the bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.05 percent. The rate decision was expected as the bank says the benchmark is so low it cannot be reduced further.

The lack of new stimulus measures helped send the euro higher. Central bank efforts to boost the economy can send a currency lower.

The ECB is trying to raise dangerously low inflation a token of weak demand in the economy. It lowered its inflation outlook for next year to 0.7 percent from a 1.1 percent forecast made in September.


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