Brighter European outlook weighs against rate cut

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A modestly brighter economic outlook has analysts thinking the European Central Bank will probably not deploy more stimulus measures for the 18 countries that use the euro currency.

The bank's 24-member rate-setting council meets Thursday in Brussels.

Several analysts are saying the bank won't act before June's meeting — if at all.

ECB President Mario Draghi says the bank is ready to provide stimulus if things start looking worse. That could include a cut in the bank's benchmark interest rate from the record low 0.25 percent, a negative deposit rate for banks, or even bond purchases.

Inflation remains low at 0.7 percent, a sign of slack. But recent surveys suggest the modest recovery is gaining strength. Unemployment has fallen slightly but still stands at a high 11.9 percent.