The European Central Bank released the monthly report on March 15, explaining the bank's actions and moves during the past month, starting with the interest rates, which remained unchanged at 1.0% for the fourth consecutive month as the Governing Council expects inflation to remain above 2.0% in 2012. ECB members didn't discuss rate changes this meeting.
Regarding growth, the bank sees the economy will recover gradually; however, tensions in the debt market might curb the pace of expansion, while the outlook remains subject to downside risks as the bank expects these pressures to remain effective on growth.
The ECB projects growth now to be in the range of -0.5% to 0.3% in 2012 and of 0.0% to 0.2% in 2013, revised lower from December's projections of -0.4% to 1.0% in 2012 and of 0.3% to 2.3% in 2013. The non-standard measures are temporary in nature, yet signs of stabilization are seen at low levels, the bank explained.
The President Mario Draghi clarified at the ECB press conference that the Bank is committed to price stability.
Therefore, further rate cuts in the coming period and unlikely. Regarding the euro, the exchange rate rose after the second round of long-term refinancing operations provided for banks the President said, adding that ECB doesn't move or create policy to control the exchange rate of the European common currency.
The Long-term refinancing operations sent the euro to the upside as those operations had powerful effect on markets. The decision on the LTRO was unanimous.