ECB's Asmussen says no reason to worry about euro zone inflation

BERLIN Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:02pm GMT

European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen smiles during an interview with Reuters in Berlin June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen smiles during an interview with Reuters in Berlin June 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski

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BERLIN (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen told a newspaper he expected inflation in the euro zone to ease to under 2 percent next year.

"There is no reason to worry," Asmussen was quoted as saying by Rheinische Post in an article to be published in its Saturday edition. "We expect inflation in the euro zone of under 2 percent again in the coming year."

Annual inflation in the 17 countries sharing the euro was 2.2 percent in November, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said earlier this month.

Asmussen said that there was reason to be cautiously optimistic about the situation in the euro zone, given progress made over the past two years such as the agreement on the fiscal pact, the creation of the European Stability Mechanism and decisions on a banking union.

"In comparison to the situation two years ago we have come a considerable way," he said. "There is reason for cautious optimism."

(Reporting By Sarah Marsh; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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