FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe's brighter economic outlook means the European Central Bank is likely to leave its key interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.5 percent.
The bank's 23-member council meets Thursday at its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Economists say President Mario Draghi will likely repeat the bank's earlier message that rates will stay low "for an extended period."
Low rates can help growth by reducing the cost of credit for businesses and consumers.
The euro area economy grew 0.3 percent in the second quarter, after 18 months of recession. Indicators of future growth, such as surveys of purchasing managers, suggest the eurozone could grow moderately in the months ahead.
Economists say the ECB may even raise its growth forecast this year from the current negative 0.6 percent.
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