According to the European Central Bank's March monthly bulletin, the bulletin is merely the minutes for the ECB March meeting, when the ECB decided to keep interest rates unchanged and withdrew further easing measures.
Though ECB President Trichet did provided all the details regarding the meeting in the press conference following the decision, yet provided below is a review of the highlights in the conference provided in the bulletin below:
The governing council left rates intact at their historic low of 1.0% on March 04, 2010 citing that they remain appropriate and price developments over policy horizon remain subdued. The economic recovery continues and the euro area is expected to grow modestly in 2010 where the recovery is likely to be uneven and the environment of uncertainty continues to be the main effect.
The governing council sees inflation expectations firmly anchored below, but close to 2.0% over the medium term.
In regards to assessing financial markets conditions and developments, the ECB continued the gradual exit of nonstandard measure provided. They continued conducting the main refinancing operations (MROs) and the special-term refinancing operations which the maturity of one maintenance period which is available as much as needed and so far at least until October 12.
Regarding the 3-month loans the ECB will return to variable rate tender starting on April 28; while for the 6-month tender ending on March 31 the rate has also been changed from fixed to an average minimum bid rate over the maturity of the operation.
The March ECB staff macroeconomic projections included revision for GDP growth for this year and next year; the ECB expects the economy to expand by 0.4% and 1.2% this year and 0.5% to 2.5% next year. This compared to the Eurosystem staff projections in December, where this year's range was slightly narrower reflecting the instability in the environment, the balance sheet adjustment from banks, and the unexpected cold weather conditions in the first quarter. While for next year it was lightly higher on the rising pace of the global economic recovery.