THE European Central Bank (ECB) has left eurozone interest rates unchanged at 0.75 per cent, as had been widely expected.
Rates have now been at this level for six months after July's cut from 1 per cent.
Figures released last week showed the unemployment rate across the eurozone worsened in November, hitting a record high of 11.8 per cent.
The UK's Bank of England also announced on Thursday that it would be keeping its main interest rate on hold.
"The economic weakness in the euro area is expected to extend into 2013," said ECB president Mario Draghi.
"In particular, necessary balance sheet adjustments in financial and non-financial sectors and persistent uncertainty will continue to weigh on economic activity. Later in 2013, economic activity should gradually recover."
The economy of the 17-member eurozone bloc is currently in recession, having contracted by 0.1 per cent between July and September, after shrinking 0.2 per cent in the previous three months.