3. May 2012 11:51
The European Central Bank steps back and stands pat. It is holding its benchmark interest rate at a record low 1% and resisting calls for action to ease the continent’s debt crisis. The markets want the ECB to buy up Spanish bonds, lowering borrowing costs for the recession plagued nation. Instead, bank president Mario Draghi repeated his call for Eurozone governments to implement growth strategies in conjunction with, already agreed to, austerity measures.
In the U.S., more evidence of slowing economic growth. The Institute of Supply Management’s Non-manufacturing Index declined by 2.5 percentage points in April, dropping to 53.5% from 56% in March. The Business Activity, New Orders, Employment and Price indices all showed contractions in April, but remained above the 50% threshold, indicating growth.