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Central Banks

ECB chief Draghi speaks following monetary policy decision

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi spoke at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany, following the central bank's monetary policy decision.

The ECB decided Thursday keep its monetary policy unchanged and said that it would keep rates at current levels until "well past" the end of net asset purchases.

Analysts expected the institution to reconfirm its main messages from its previous meeting in October. In that meeting, the ECB said it would cut the level of bond purchases each month, but extend the length of time that its quantitative easing (QE) program runs.

On Thursday, the bank revised upwards its inflation forecast for next year to 1.4 percent.

In terms of growth, the ECB estimated in September a GDP (gross domestic product) rate of 2.2 percent for this year and 1.8 percent in 2018. This has now been revised upwards to 2.4 percent in 2017 and 2.3 percent in 2018.

"The economic expansion in the euro area continued in the third quarter of 2017, when real GDP increased by 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter," ECB President Mario Draghi said following the meeting.

"The latest data and survey results point to solid and broad-based growth momentum... Private consumption is underpinned by ongoing employment gains, which are also benefiting from past labor market reforms, and by rising household wealth.

"Business investment continues to strengthen on the back of very favorable financing conditions, rising corporate profitability and strengthening demand. Housing investment has also risen further over recent quarters. In addition, euro area exports are being supported by the broad-based global expansion."

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