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Majority of ECB Governing Council Said to Back Rate Cut

A majority of European Central Bank policy makers were open to cutting the benchmark rate yesterday and there is a possibility of a reduction early next year if the economy doesn’t pick up, three officials with knowledge of the Governing Council’s deliberations said.

Rates were kept on hold because of concerns about the negative signal a cut might send in conjunction with the significant downward revisions to the ECB’s growth and inflation forecasts, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Lowering rates will be considered again next month, one of the officials said. An ECB spokesman declined to comment on what is discussed in council meetings, which are private.