Xinhua world economic news summary at 0900 GMT, Jan. 22

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FRANKFURT -- The European Central Bank (ECB) said on Thursday that it decided to keep the euro area key interest rates and other pandemic policy responses unchanged following its first monetary policy meeting in 2021.

Eurozone key interest rates will remain at record low levels, with the base interest rate, marginal lending rate and deposit rate unchanged at 0.00 percent, 0.25 percent and minus 0.50 percent, respectively, according to an ECB press release. (ECB-Interest-Rates)

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TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan on Thursday trimmed its economic projection for the current business year through March, down 0.1 percent.

The bank also maintained its large-scale monetary stimulus as the country is struggling to curb a COVID-19 resurgence under a second state of emergency. (Japan-BOJ-Economic-Slowdown)

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BEIJING -- China will tighten measures and mechanisms to curb arbitrary charges on enterprises, said the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The meeting noted that in recent years, various localities and competent departments have worked hard to overhaul business-related charges. Administrative charges by the central government and government-managed funds have been cut by 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively, and local governments have scraped a large number of charges. (China-State Council-Meeting)

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WASHINGTON -- Initial jobless claims in the United States slightly dropped to 900,000 last week, after soaring to five-month high in the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

In the week ending Jan. 16, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined by 26,000 from the previous week's downwardly revised level of 926,000, according to a report released by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. (US-Jobless-COVID-19) Enditem

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