The European Central Bank is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent on Thursday even though there's still a recession in the 17 countries that use the euro.

The ECB cut its benchmark rate by a quarter point in May and analysts say it will probably hold off at its meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, while it assesses how the economy is doing. Some do not rule out a surprise cut to stimulate the eurozone economy.

The ECB is looking at different ways to get growth started. President Mario Draghi has said it is talking to other European Union officials about ways to encourage banks to lend more to small companies but it is not clear when a proposal might be ready.