Current Affairs Global - 7 August 2014

1. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.15% during its latest monetary policy review meet. It has also announced that it would keep the interest rate at record low level for an extended period to boost economic growth and avert deflation across the region.


The ECB cut its benchmark rate from 0.25% to 0.15% in June this year and with this it has become the first major central bank to introduce negative interest rates in recent times.


The Bank of England has also kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5% today during its monetary policy announcement. The size of the Bank's economic stimulus programme - Quantitative Easing - was also kept unchanged at 375 billion pounds. The Bank of England has kept the rate unchanged at 0.5% since 2009 post one of the worst financial crisis in history.


2. Italy's economy was contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year following a 0.1% contraction in the previous quarter. With the economy contracting for two consecutive quarters, Italy-s economy has fallen back into recession again after recovering from its longest recession only in last year.