FRANKFURT, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday kept interest rates unchanged at its regular monthly governing council meeting here.
"The available information remains consistent with our assessment of a continued moderate and uneven recovery of the euro area economy, with low rates of inflation and subdued monetary and credit dynamics," said the ECB president Mario Draghi at a press conference.
As the annual inflation dropped to 0.4 percent in July from 0.5 percent in June, according to the Eurostat's flash estimate, Draghi said it reflected primarily lower energy price inflation.
"...inflation expectations for the euro area over the medium to long term continue to be firmly anchored in line with our aim," said Draghi.
The economic analysis indicates that the current low level of inflation should be followed by a gradual upward movement in the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices inflation rates towards levels closer to 2 percent, he said.
With regard to the targeted longer-term refinancing operations, Draghi said they would enhance the ECB's accommodative monetary policy stance.
"Looking ahead, we will maintain a high degree of monetary accommodation."
He repeated that the Governing Council was unanimous in its commitment to also using unconventional instruments within its mandate, should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation.
Draghi considered heightened geopolitical risks, developments in emerging market economies and global financial markets as factors that might have the potential to affect economic conditions negatively.
Draghi renewed the call for continuous implementation of structural reforms.