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MADRID, March 27 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is not yet ready to exit its bond-purchase programme though the growth outlook has improved, ECB chief economist Peter Praet said on Monday.
"We are not yet at this stage... It's premature to talk about exit", Praet said at an event in Madrid as he backed the ECB's guidance that rates will stay at the current level, or even fall, until well after the ECB's 2.3 trillion euros ($2.50 trillion) bond-purchase programme ends.
"Of course you always reassess the situation, this is an expectation we have with all the information we have, you never know what can happen. This is the most likely thing that will happen, there is a strong logic in the sequence of our forward guidance," he also said. ($1 = 0.9203 euros) (Reporting by Jesus Aguado and Sarah White; Editing by Julien Toyer)