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Europe Bank Keeps Rates Unchanged

June 7, 2001

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The European Central Bank left its key interest rate unchanged Thursday, continuing its vigil against inflation _ despite pressure to shelter the region’s sagging economy from an unraveling global economy.

Most economists had expected the Frankfurt-based bank to leave its main interest rate unchanged _ at 4.5 percent _ when its top officials met to assess economic developments in the 12 nations that share the euro common currency.

Inflation _ the ECB’s top concern _ stood at 2.9 percent in April, far above the bank’s 2 percent target. That leaves the ECB little room to slash interest rates, because doing so tends to make inflation only worse.

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