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ECB rates unchanged amid hopes for recession's end

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says economic survey indicators "have shown some further improvements from low levels" but is sticking to his message that interest rates will stay low for a good while yet.

Draghi spoke Thursday after the ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent.

He said economic data "tentatively confirm" expectations that the 17-country eurozone has stabilized and will start to grow slowly out of its recession. He said rates will stay low "for an extended period of time," underlining the message he sent last month.