Sunday, March 11, 2012

ECB sees 'mild recession' in eurozone

AP - article link Benoit Coeure, an ECB executive board member, told Japan's Nikkei newspaper that growth was held back by scarce bank credit and necessary government budget-cutting because of problems with debt in some eurozone countries.

He added that higher oil prices and increased value-added taxes on consumer purchases in some countries had led the bank to raise its outlook for inflation but that "insofar as they are temporary, higher energy prices should not have a lasting impact on inflation.

" Coeure said that whether inflation rose over the longer term would depend on whether higher oil prices were reflected in higher wages, creating so-called second round effects or a wage-price spiral.

He said in an interview text made public Sunday that "there are good reasons to believe that second-round effects will be limited." Coeure is one of six members of the ECB's executive board, the body that runs the bank day to day at its Frankfurt headquarters. He also sits on the 23-member governing council, which decides interest rates. Higher prices have become part of the bank's discussion of the economy in recent days thanks to higher prices for crude and an easing of the eurozone debt crisis with a successful debt reduction and second bailout for Greece.

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