PARIS — The European Central Bank has kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low 0.5 percent, holding off on more monetary stimulus for the economy of the 17-member euro currency union.
The bank's 23-member governing council made the decision Wednesday at a meeting in Paris. The benchmark refinancing rate determines what banks pay to borrow from the ECB and that in turn influences borrowing rates in the wider economy. Lower rates can stimulate growth.
The ECB has said its low rates are already supporting the recovery and that governments must carry out reforms to improve growth and reduce debt.
Markets are waiting for hints from ECB President Mario Draghi at a news conference about his outlook for the economy and further measures the bank might take.