ECB leaves interest rates, stimulus program unchanged

The European Central Bank has left its key interest rates and stimulus programs untouched, with President Mario Draghi due to explain Thursday why the bank is keeping its measures in place despite improved inflation and growth.

Draghi is expected to use his news conference Thursday to underline the bank's determination to stick with its December decision to keep pumping newly printed money into the economy at least through the end of the year.

The program aims to boost inflation from low levels and support an economy that's slowly gathering steam.

Annual inflation in the 19-country eurozone jumped to 1.1 percent in December from 0.6 percent the month before. But core inflation, which excludes volatile fuel and food, has been stuck at 0.8-0.9 percent, and wages are not growing as quickly.