LONDON, England (CNN) -- The European Central Bank Thursday cut a key lending rate by half a percentage point to 2 percent.
The decrease is the bank's fourth in a row, bringing the rate on the main refinancing operations to its lowest level in the bank's 10-year history.
The move is an effort to stimulate Europe's economy in the midst of a global economic slowdown.
The decision takes effect January 21.
The ECB, the central bank for the countries which use the euro, sets monetary policy for the members of the European Union which dropped their national currencies in favor of the euro.