The European Central Bank kept interest rates steady Thursday while it increased the envelope for the pandemic support program by €600 billion to a total of €1.35 trillion ($1.51T).

“In response to the pandemic-related downward revision to inflation over the projection horizon, the PEPP [pandemic emergency purchase programme] expansion will further ease the general monetary policy stance, supporting funding conditions in the real economy, especially for businesses and households,” the bank said.

“The purchases will continue to be conducted in a flexible manner over time, across asset classes and among jurisdictions. This allows the Governing Council to effectively stave off risks to the smooth transmission of monetary policy.”

Under the program, the horizon for net purchases will be extended to at least the end of the next June, however the Governing Council will conduct purchases till the pandemic is over.

The bank kept the interest rates on the main refinancing operations, the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively.

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