European Central Bank offers help to weakening economy

European Central Bank offers help to weakening economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank took unexpectedly quick action Thursday to support a weakening economy, pushing back the earliest date of interest rate increases and announcing a new round of cheap loans to banks.

The bank said Thursday after its regular policy meeting that it would not raise rates before the end of this year at the earliest. Previously, it had said that earliest rate hike would come in the fall.

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