RTTNews - Thursday, the European Central Bank held its key interest rate at a record low level of 1%. The decision was in line with economists' expectations.

The central bank also retained its interest rate on the marginal lending facility at 1.75% and that on the deposit facility at 0.25%.

The last change in the key interest rate was in May, when the bank cut the rate by 25 basis points to the current level of 1%. The bank has lowered the key interest rate by a total of three and a quarter percentage points since early October 2008.

The bank's President Jean-Claude Trichet and Vice President Lucas Papademos are set to hold their post-decision press conference at 8.30 a.m. ET.

Trichet is expected to unveil new ECB staff economic forecasts. Economists expect better GDP projections this time compared to the one made in June as economic indicators strongly point to growth in the second half.

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