The European Central Bank (ECB) is once again launching a broad program to stimulate the economy of the euro zone. The central bank will start buying bonds for 20 billion euros every month from November and the deposit rate, which banks pay the ECB, will be lowered to -0.5 percent, the central bank reports on Thursday.

In order to prevent banks from being bothered too much by the low interest rate, part of the balances that banks deposit with the ECB is relieved of the negative deposit rate.

The bank’s other interest rates remain at historically low levels. For example, banks can borrow from the bank for 0 percent. Furthermore, a financing program in which banks can borrow at favorable rates is adjusted.

Central bank president Mario Draghi said in an explanation that the ECB has lowered the growth forecast for the euro zone. A growth of 1.1 percent is expected for this year instead of the 1.2 percent previously communicated.

The growth forecast for next year has been lowered from 1.4 percent to 1.2 percent. Inflation expectations have also been lowered.
More and more votes for more government investment

Draghi again emphasized, as he has done for years, that governments must step in to support the European economy. For example, it is about implementing reforms, but with low interest rates, more and more people are calling for more government investment in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.

In recent years, the ECB’s policy has partly contributed to the fall in savings and mortgage rates. The pressure on banks to offer even lower savings rates is expected to increase further.

The ECB feels it is necessary to take measures again, as inflation (the rise in consumer prices) in the euro zone is declining.

Falling inflation

After a peak of more than 2 percent in 2018, inflation has fallen into a downward trend this year. In July inflation was 1 percent. The ECB aims for inflation of just under 2 percent.

In addition, economic growth in the eurozone is slowing down in particular due to a slowdown in the industrial sector. Statistics office Eurostat announced on Thursday that industrial production also declined in July.

Industrial production was 2 percent lower on an annual basis. The German economy is expected to end up in a recession due to the slump in the industry.

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