FRANKFURT, Sept 5 The European Central Bank left
its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.50 percent
on Thursday, as recent economic data has shown a nascent
recovery taking hold in the euro zone.
Strong orders for manufactured goods helped factory activity
in the currency bloc rise at the fastest pace in over two years
in August and led to backlogs of work for the first time since
mid-2011, a survey showed on Monday.
Euro zone inflation is expected to slow to 1.3 percent in
August from 1.6 percent in the previous month, EU statistics
office Eurostat said last week. The ECB's goal is just below 2
percent, though it looks at prices over the medium term.
The ECB also left the rate on its deposit facility at 0.0
percent and held its marginal lending facility - or emergency
borrowing rate - at 1.00 percent.
The markets now turn their attention to ECB President Mario
Draghi's news conference, scheduled to begin at 1230 GMT, where
he will be asked about the central bank's future plans.