ECB set to hold rates but raise inflation forecast

The European Central Bank is set to announce on Thursday that it is leaving its benchmark interest rates on hold at historic lows but raising its inflation forecast in the wake of the recent spike in oil prices.

ECB chief Mario Draghi is not expected to announce any new measures at his press briefing on Thursday, after the bank launched in March a bold package of steps aimed at spurring both economic growth and inflation. This included lowering the bank's benchmark refinancing rate to zero.

But analysts expect Draghi to unveil higher inflation projections for this year and 2017 as part of the ECB's new economic forecasts, which will include an update of the bank's predictions for growth.

The Frankfurt-based ECB is also holding one of its regular out of town meetings in Vienna on Thursday, which will coincide with an OPEC gathering in the Austrian capital.

The oil producers' cartel is to meet in the wake of a rebound in oil prices, with the global benchmark, Brent crude, breaching the key 50-dollars-a-barrel mark last Thursday for the first time since November.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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