German industrial production drops again in June

FILE - In this March 2, 2018 file photo, a worker cleans big machine parts of presses manufacturer Schüler AG in Goeppingen, Germany. German factory orders, a leading indicator of the health of Europe's biggest economy, dropped strongly in July, erasing gains from the previous month. The Federal Statistical Office reported Thursday industrial orders dropped 2.7% in July over June when adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, wiping out a 2.7% June increase.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is launching a new round of monetary stimulus to support economic growth in the face of uncertainties like the U.S.-China trade conflict and Brexit.

The central bank for the 19 countries that use the euro said Thursday it would cut the rate on deposits it takes from banks to minus 0.5% from minus 0.4%. That is a penalty rate that pushes banks to lend excess cash.

It also said it would purchase 20 billion euros ($22 billion) a month in government and corporate bonds for as long as necessary. The purchases pump newly created money into the financial system to lower borrowing costs and raise inflation.

The bank also extended a promise to keep rates at record lows for as long as necessary.

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