ROME It would be reasonable for euro zone inflation to exceed the European Central Bank's target of 2 percent for a while, to offset the long period in which it has been far below it, ECB Governing Council Member Ignazio Visco said on Friday.
Asked by daily Il Foglio if the ECB should aim to overshoot its inflation target, Visco replied that it was "almost simple arithmetic" that as inflation had been below 2 percent for so long "it's comprehensible that we should exceed that objective for a certain period of time."
He added that "the problem to concentrate on now is still how to get close to 2 percent."
Eurozone inflation stood at 0.2 percent in August.
Visco, the governor of the Bank of Italy, also said categorically in the interview that the ECB's quantitative easing programme "does not expire in March 2017," as the bank has committed to extending it if necessary.
(Reporting By Gavin Jones)