European Central Bank Rate Decision Timeline
July 3 2008 -- The European Central Bank looks set to raise its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.25 percent.
Inflation climbed to a new record high of 4 percent in the euro zone, double the ECB's target, prompting fears of a wage-price spiral.
June 5 2008 -- The European Central Bank left rates at 4 percent (again) despite inflation rising to 3.6 percent in May, a historic high.
But ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said it was possible that the bank would hike the rate by a quarter point at its next meeting to fend off inflationary pressures.
May 8 2008 -- The European Central Bank did what it has done every month since the credit crunch started last August: kept rates steady in the face of high and predominant inflation and slowing growth.
Two weeks before, remarks from some hawkish members of the ECB governing council raised the possibility that a rate rise was in the cards, despite increasing signs of weakness in the euro zone.
Video: ECB Should Smell the Coffee ; No Surprises from Trichet
April 10 2008 -- The European Central Bank kept rates on hold at 4 percent, as widely expected.
The ECB's current monetary policy will help to maintain medium term price stability at this time of upside inflation risks and financial market tension, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said. He acknowledged that turmoil in financial markets was unusually high and tensions might last longer than initially expected.
The central bank has repeatedly stuck to its strict policy regarding combating high inflation and maintaining price stability, despite investors and exporters' calls for a rate cut in order to ease the strong euro and data revealing that the housing markets in the UK, Ireland and Spain are tumbling.
March 6 2008 -- The European Central Bank kept rates steady, despite oil hitting new highs above $103 a barrel and the dollar reaching records lows of almost $1.53 against the euro, as the U.S. floats into a recession, stemming from a global credit crunch.
Worried euro zone policymakers pressured Washington on Tuesday, March 4, to do more to halt the dollar's decline, a day after the U.S. currency hit a record low against Europe's single currency.
Video: Euro Zone Consumers Slow; ECB Fights Inflation
Feb. 7 2008 -- The European Central Bank kept its key interest rates on hold at 4 percent for the sixth consecutive meeting, despite mounting pressure for monetary easing to help avert a global recession.
Inflation was still the bank's main concern, but recent data showed that there are risks for economic growth, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said in a news conference.
"The current short-term pressure on inflation must not spill over medium term," Trichet said. "The governing council remains committed to preventing second-round effects."
"Uncertainties about the prospects of economic activity are unusually high," he added, a code-word which markets have come to interpret as meaning the bank will not change its policy at the next meeting.
Video: ECB Had No Choice but to Hold
Jan. 10 2008 -- The European Central Bank left key lending rates at 4 percent, amid continuing uncertainty regarding the outlook of the economy, citing that strong short-term upward pressure on inflation continued, with HICP inflation remaining at 3.1 percent in December, still above the central bank's preferred inflation measure of 2 percent.
The ECB's decision was widely expected, with all 71 analysts in a recent Reuters poll predicting the bank will stand pat.
"The economic fundamentals of the euro area are sound," ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said, adding that profitability was sustained, employment growth was robust, and unemployment was low.
"We will continue to monitor very closely all developments over the coming weeks," Trichet said.
Video: ECB is 'Totally Alert'
Dec. 6 2007 -- The ECB left rates on hold at 4 percent, saying that "the reappraisal of risk in financial markets is still evolving" and is "accompanied by continued uncertainty about the potential impact on the real economy".
Video: ECB to Stay on Hold in 2008?
Nov. 8 2007 -- The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at 4%, saying that the "ongoing reappraisal of risk in the financial markets" had led to continued uncertainty, with the euro reaching record highs against the dollar, oil heading towards the $100-a-barrel mark and economic data remaining mixed.
Video: European Central Bank Keeps Rates on Hold
Oct. 4 2007 -- The ECB left rates on hold at 4%, citing favorable conditions in the euro area economy and stressing that unemployment had fallen, the euro had strengthened against the dollar and the continued volatility in the financial markets remained a problem.