European Central Bank stimulus on track as economy struggles

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank has left its bond-purchase stimulus program unchanged as the 19-country eurozone endures a winter economic slowdown due to the pandemic. Attention will focus on post-decision remarks by bank President Christine Lagarde about the outlook for the recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro currency. The ECB faces potential concerns over political turbulence in heavily indebted Italy, where the government survived a confidence vote this week, and over the stronger euro, which can weigh on exports and growth. The European economy is going through a rough winter as virus cases and deaths have risen, leading to new restrictions on businesses.