The European Central Bank (ECB) is maintaining historically low interest rates in order to help inflation in the eurozone towards 2 percent.

The central bank says it expects to keep interest rates low until the inflation target is met.

It was expected that the interest rate would not be changed on Thursday.

Even before the corona outbreak, the ECB set the refinancing rate at 0 percent, which means that banks can borrow money from the central bank for free.

The deposit rate has been at -0.5 percent for some time, causing banks to invest in savings that they store at the ECB in Frankfurt.

These rates will therefore remain the same for the time being.

The ECB expects inflation in the eurozone to reach 1.9 percent this year, but fall again to 1.5 percent in 2022.

In the following year, inflation may fall further to 1.4 percent.

The central bank is aiming for an inflation rate of 2 percent to prevent deflation - in which prices fall and consumers can postpone spending.

If inflation is higher than 2 percent, there is a greater chance that prices will rise too fast.

As a result, people's savings become worth less and they can buy fewer products with their income.