The European Central Bank moved Thursday to counteract market forces that are driving up borrowing costs worldwide, saying it would speed up its purchases of government and corporate bonds to make sure that credit in the eurozone remained cheap.

The action signaled that the bank was worried less about inflation than about the economic distress caused by the pandemic and the likelihood that the eurozone was in recession.

The bank had earlier allocated 1.85 trillion euros, or $2.2 trillion, to fight the effects of the pandemic and keep borrowing costs low. That sum remains unchanged, but the bank will now buy bonds “at a significantly higher pace than during the first months of this year.”

Interest rates in the bond market have been rising in recent weeks because investors are worried that inflation could rise when growth bounces back. Investors have been less willing to buy bonds at the same exceptionally low rates as before.

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