European Central Bank keeps policy unchanged with door still open to more stimulus

ECB’s Lagarde sees slowdown bottoming out

Stablecoins Recognized by President of European Central Bank

In addition, climate change will further transform the ways nations produce and consume.

With the euro zone economy barely expanding, the former International Monetary Fund chief firmly embraced the ECB's easy money policy but suggested that the worst of the bloc's slowdown may now over and an often-discussed but elusive recovery could now begin. And a review of the ECB's goals and its tools was long overdue to better achieve its mandate of price stability.

But she did signal that the ECB's forthcoming strategic review of its policy framework would be a wide-ranging exercise, in her press conference today (December 12).

The European Central Bank's valuation of economic expectations has changed little since September. The ECB now expresses that as keeping annual inflation below, but close to 2 percent.

Risks to the outlook nevertheless remain skewed to the downside, ECB President Christine Lagarde told a news conference, pointing to geopolitical uncertainty, protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets as key risks.

European Central Bank (ECB) has divulged in the recent past as well that it intends to accelerate its plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) upon consumers' discomfort in cash transactions.

Lagarde has herself pleaded for patience, saying she has been on a steep "learning curve" since taking up the job last month.

Meanwhile, some central banks including the ECB said that they would explore the feasibility of launching their own digital currencies. After that, the Frankfurt-based institution would explore the technicalities of it. She said, "My personal conviction is that given the current developments, not so much in the bitcoin segment but in the stablecoins projects, and we only know of one at the moment, but others are being explored and underway at the moment".

The European Central Bank's Governing Council confirmed predictions Thursday by leaving all its benchmark interest rates unchanged: the deposit rate at -0.5%, the marginal lending rate at 0.25% and the refinancing rate at 0.0%.

The ECB also made its initial projections for 2022. The ECB sees the eurozone growing only a modest 1.1 percent next year.

On the upside, such a currency would allow the European Central Bank to inject liquidity directly into the real economy if it wants to boost inflation, bypassing the financial sector and potentially making its policy more effective.

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