European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi gestures as he addresses a news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
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With the eurozone economy showing strong growth, the European Central Bank left its interest rates and stimulus measures unchanged Thursday as it looks ahead to the delicate matter of ending its bond-purchase program next year.The bank decided in October to reduce the purchases to 30 billion euros ($35 billion) a month from 60 billion euros and to extend them at least until September, or longer if necessary. The ECB has tried to reassure markets that its stimulus efforts will be withdrawn slowly so as not to disrupt the economic recovery that saw the economy in the 19 countries that use the euro expand 2.6 percent in the third quarter from the quarter before.The rate on deposits it takes from commercial banks remained at minus 0.4 percent. That negative rate is a penalty imposed to push banks to lend the money, not let it pile up at the ECB.
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