The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday kept its key interest rates unchanged despite high inflation rates across the European Union.

“The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively,” the ECB said in a statement.

The bank said it expects the key interest rates “to remain at their present or lower levels until it sees inflation reaching 2%” and it “judges that realised progress in underlying inflation is sufficiently advanced to be consistent with inflation stabilising at 2% over the medium term.”

The bank will continue asset purchases in 2022 but it will decrease gradually.

“Monthly net purchases under the APP will amount to €40 billion ($45.1 billion) in the second quarter of 2022 and €30 billion in the third quarter.

“From October onwards, the Governing Council will maintain net asset purchases under the APP at a monthly pace of €20 billion for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates,” the ECB said.

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