China News Agency, Berlin, June 4 (Reporter Peng Dawei) The European Central Bank held a meeting of interest rates on the 4th and decided to expand the scale of its new crown epidemic emergency asset purchase plan (PEPP, quantitative easing QE) by 600 billion euros to 1.35 trillion euros. The latest economic forecast released by the European Central Bank on the same day showed that due to the epidemic, the euro zone’s real GDP (GDP) is expected to decline by 8.7% this year and is expected to rebound to a positive growth of 5.2% next year.

  The European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, is the monetary policymaking agency for the entire Eurozone. ECB President Lagarde announced the above decision at a press conference after the interest rate meeting.

  On March 18, the European Central Bank announced the launch of a 750 billion-euro PEPP quantitative stimulus plan, which will be implemented until the end of 2020. The resolution of the interest rate meeting announced on the 4th of this month expanded the scale of this QE to 1.35 trillion euros and extended the duration of the debt purchase to at least the end of June 2021. The ECB Management Committee stated that it will continue to implement the QE plan until it believes that "the crisis phase of the new crown epidemic has ended."

  The European Central Bank also decided to maintain the current level of the three major benchmark interest rates in the euro zone, that is, the main refinancing rate and overnight loan rate are 0% and 0.25%, respectively, and the overnight deposit rate is negative 0.50%.

  The European Central Bank’s Euro 2020 macroeconomic forecast data released that day shows that in the baseline scenario, the euro zone’s real GDP will decline by 8.7% this year, which is a sharp reduction of 9.5 percentage points from the March forecast this year. However, the euro zone economy is expected to rebound next year, achieving a positive growth of 5.2%. The economic growth rate of the Eurozone in the following year is expected to be 3.3%. (Finish)