European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi on Thursday warned that euro-area recovery remained "weak, fragile and uneven", that inflation would remain low for some time before gradually increasing and that further stimulus was not on the horizon.
Speaking at a press conference after the monetary authority decided to keep policy on hold, the president noted that recent economic reports had been mixed.
"Assessment of the present situation has been exceptionally volatile over the last two months," he told the conference, pointing to the recent weak and positive results in soft and hard data such as gross domestic product, labour market figures and purchasing managers' index reports.
Draghi also addressed Russia's counter-sanctions after Moscow banned a range of food imports from the US and Europe.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday the restrictions include all cheese, fish, beef, pork, fruit, vegetables and dairy products after European Union, US, Canada, Australia and Norway imposed sanctions against Russia for its insurgence in Ukraine.
Draghi said while the situation presented a possible threat, it was too early to tell how it would affect the euro-area exactly.
"We're just at the beginning. We are still assessing what impact it will have on the euro-area economy," he said.
On inflation, the president reiterated that it would remain weak for some time before gradually increasing closer towards the ECB's target of below but close to 2%.
The latest Eurozone inflation figures showed a drop to 0.4% in July, the lowest level since October 2009.
Draghi blamed energy and food prices, along with unfavourable exchange rates, for low inflation. He confessed that policymakers had been "really worried" about price instability and "want to take action on this".
In June, the ECB cut its benchmark rate from 0.25% to 0.15% and became the first major central bank to introduce negative interest rates.
The deposit rate for banks depositing money with the ECB went from zero to -0.1%. The aim was to encourage banks to lend to businesses rather than hold on to money.
In the ECB latest press gathering, Draghi again stressed that individual euro economies should enact structural reforms to boost economic growth.
"It's pretty clear that countries that have undertaken structural reforms have done very well, much better than the countries that have not."
Following Draghi's remarks, Chris Williamson from Markit said: "The upshot from the press conference is that the bar to further stimulus remains high, requiring a significant deterioration in the economic outlook as we move through the second half of 2014.
"Until then, the ECB is in 'wait and see' mode, expecting growth and inflation to rise in the second half of the year as past policy initiatives and reforms take hold."