ECB’s Lagarde sees receding growth risk beyond short term

FILE PHOTO: ECB President Lagarde attends a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde addresses European lawmakers during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium February 8, 2021. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

April 8, 2021

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic will weigh on euro zone growth over the coming months but longer term risks are receding and growth will pick up once lockdown measures can be lifted, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

“Overall, the risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook have become more balanced, although downside risks associated with the pandemic remain in the near term,” Lagarde said in a statement that echoes the bank’s policy stance after its March meeting.

Repeating the bank’s standing guidance, Lagarde said that the 1.85 trillion euros set aside in a Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme may not have to be spent in full but the ECB also reserved the right to increase this quota, if market conditions warrant.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Toby Chopra)