March 27, 2019 / 5:55 PM / 8 months ago

ECB has margin to maneuver if needed: Villeroy

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who is also governor of the French central bank, attends the Paris Europlace International Financial Forum in Tokyo, Japan, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Euro zone growth should firm over the course of the year, but the European Central Bank stands ready to act if needed, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Wednesday.

Speaking in Geneva, Villeroy said that trade tensions and uncertainty about China’s economic outlook were weighing on global growth while a slowdown in Germany and Italy were pulling down euro zone growth.

“It’s a slowdown and not a recession and we’re still hoping for a pick-up over the course of the year,” said Villeroy, who is also governor of the Bank of France.

“We continue to follow the economic situation very closely and we have without a doubt sufficiently powerful tools and margin to manoeuvre to act if needed,” he added.

Reporting by Tom Miles; writing by Leigh Thomas

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