ECB refi rate | European Central Bank interest rate

Chart for the main interest rate of the European Central Bank (ECB). Refi rate over a long period for the euro area.

ECB refi rate | European Central Bank interest rate
Please find below a chart for the refi rate, European Central Bank (ECB) main interest rate. The chart begins in 1998.

Since 1999, the ECB conducts its monetary policy by raising or lowering the interest rate of refinancing operation. In normal times, the EONIA (Euro OverNight Index Average) on the overnight interbank market in the euro area is very close to the refi.

The ECB’s mandate is to maintain price stability in the euro area. ECB’s definition of price stability is a rise in prices close to 2% but less than 2% year-on-year (index: Harmonized Index of Consumer Price - HICP) at a medium-term to long-term horizon.

The refi rate is set each month during the first Governing Council meeting. The Council is formed by the governors of the national central banks (17 in 2011) and the members of the Board (6 including ECB’s President). All members have a right to vote. In order to be sure that the EONIA stays close to the refi, the ECB’s act via its refinancing operations with the banking system of the euro area.

In the end of 2008, confronted to the disruption in the interbank market, the ECB decided to engage in unconventional monetary policy by offering an unlimited access to liquidity at the refi rate for European banks, even for 12 months lending operations. The ECB always considered that those measures were temporary and in 2011 almost all of the excess liquidity was removed.

ECB refi rate | Interest rate of the European Central Bank

ECB refi rate
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Friday, February 4th 2011

World Economic Snapshot
CB 0.25% 1.50% 6.56% 0.1% 0.5% 1% 0.25% 12.25%
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Price 3.6% 2.7% 5.5% 0.3% 4.5% 3.3% 0.3% 6.1%
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