ECB ready to help but must be mindful of side effects: Mersch

FILE PHOTO: Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) Yves Mersch speaks during an economics conference in Linz, Austria, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is ready to provide more support to the economy when it meets in December but it should also assess the unwanted side effects of any potential measures, ECB board member Yves Mersch said on Friday.

Mersch said all potential instruments could be in play at the Dec. 10 meeting and policymakers would also discuss the flexibility of their tools, including the 1.35 trillion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.

But Mersch, who leaves the ECB board in December, added that fiscal policy is still the most important tool help the real economy and it was not the ECB’s job to extend credit directly to companies.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Alison Williams