Based on the assessment of the economic and inflation outlook for the euro area, also taking into account the latest Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the Governing Council decided at its monetary policy meeting on 12 December to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged and to reiterate its forward guidance on policy rates, net asset purchases and reinvestments. Incoming information since the last Governing Council meeting in late October points to continued muted inflation pressures and weak euro area growth dynamics, although there are some initial signs of stabilisation in the growth slowdown and of a mild increase in underlying inflation in line with previous expectations.
Ongoing employment growth and increasing wages continue to underpin the resilience of the euro area economy. Against this overall background and in the light of the subdued inflation outlook, the Governing Council reiterated the need for monetary policy to remain highly accommodative for a prolonged period of time to support underlying inflation pressures and headline inflation developments over the medium term. In addition, the Governing Council's forward guidance ensures that financial conditions adjust in accordance with changes to the inflation outlook. In any event, the Governing Council continues to stand ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards its aims in a sustained manner, in line with its commitment to symmetry.