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Eurozone prepares for rate cut as growth slows


Eurozone prepares for rate cut as growth slows

The European Central Bank has hinted it could cut interest rates to tackle a slowdown in the eurozone economy. It said a weak manufacturing sector and uncertainty over Brexit and trade threatened to derail growth in the bloc.

The ECB, which kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, said it saw rates at current or lower levels until mid-2020.

It is also considering other measures to support the eurozone, including resuming quantitative easing.

This is when a central bank pumps money into the economy by buying up bonds and other assets.

Eurozone interest rates have been held near zero for years to stimulate growth, and the bank had hoped to raise them gradually.

ECB boss Mario Draghi said there were some bright spots in the eurozone economy, such as in services and construction, but added that "the outlook is getting worse and worse", especially for manufacturing.

He blamed uncertainty caused by trade tensions and "the possibility of a hard Brexit".

Eurozone inflation remains well below its 2% target.

- Source: BBC News

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