The last time the ECB changed its rates was on Sept. 4, 2014 when the deposit rate was also cut by 10 basis points to minus 0.20 percent, the refi rate was cut by 10 points to 0.05 percent and the rate on its marginal lending facility was cut by 10 points to the current 0.30 percent.
In January this year the ECB decided to launch an expanded asset purchase program in March with monthly purchases of mainly government bonds worth 60 billion euros. The purchase program is intended to continue until the end of September next year or until there is a sustained change in the path of inflation.
Inflation in the euro area was unchanged at 0.1 percent in November and October, well-below the ECB's target of below but close to 2 percent.
Gross Domestic Product expanded by 0.3 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter for annual growth of 1.6 percent, up from 1.5 percent in the second quarter and 1.2 percent in the first quarter.
The European Central Bank issued the following statement:
"At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the deposit facility will be decreased by 10 basis points to -0.30%, with effect from 9 December 2015.