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ECB keeps rates at 0.5 pct

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September 5, 2013 09:09 AM EST | AP

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FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, with President Mario Draghi saying the slow pace of the euro area's recovery meant the bank's stance won't change for some time.

Draghi spoke after the ECB governing council left its key benchmark unchanged Thursday at a record low of 0.5 percent. The eurozone is slowly recovering from a recession. It grew 0.3 percent in the second quarter after six quarters of decline.

Draghi says interest rates will stay low for an extended period until the recovery is on stronger footing, or could go lower. Lower rates can stimulate growth.

He said a rate cut was talked about at the bank's monthly policy meeting and that some council members felt the recovery is "still too green to exclude this discussion."