The European Central Bank (ECB) held its benchmark refinancing rate steady at 0.75 percent, as widely expected, and said it would comment on the decision at a press conference later today.
The euro area's economy shrank for the second quarter in a row in the third quarter as the Gross Domestic Product of the 17 nations that share the single currency contracted by 0.1 percent following the second quarter's 0.2 percent quarterly contraction.
On an annual basis, GDP shrank 0.6 percent in the third quarter, following contractions of 0.5 percent in the second and 0.1 percent in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the headline inflation rate fell to 2.0 percent in January after remaining above
that level for the last two years. The ECB targets inflation of below, but close to, 2 percent.