July 5 – Marketwatch –
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday said further downside risks to euro-area growth have materialized and indications for the second quarter point to weakened growth and heightened uncertainty. Inflationary pressure has been dampened by the risks to growth, he said. The ECB on Thursday cut its benchmark lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a record-low 0.75% as expected. It also lowered the deposit and marginal lending-facility rates. “Beyond the short term, we expect the euro-area economy to recover gradually but see momentum dampened by number of factors,” said Draghi at a press conference. Such factors include tensions in euro-area sovereign-debt markets and high unemployment, which will weigh on underlying growth momentum, he said. “Risks surrounding the euro area continue to be on the downside.