The European Central Bank (ECB) held its benchmark interest rate at zero percent on Thursday as President Mario Draghi suggested downside risks to the bloc's economy had diminished and its economic recovery picked up pace.
The ECB chief repeated his warning from previous meetings that risks remained tilted towards the downside, however, said these same risks were now less severe given the euro zone's economic expansion.
"Incoming data since our meeting in early March confirm that the cyclical recovery of the euro area economy is becoming increasingly solid and that downside risks have further diminished," Draghi said in his opening statement to reporters in Frankfurt on Thursday.
The ECB left its monetary policy unchanged Thursday and also stuck with its monthly rate of asset purchases until at least the end of the year. Europe's central bank is set to proceed with a monthly pace of quantitative easing (QE) bond purchases of 60 billion euros ($65.5 billion).