ECB must keep up support for the economy - Villeroy

FILE PHOTO: Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau arrives for the G20 meeting during the IMF and World Bank's 2019 Annual Fall Meetings of finance ministers and bank governors, in Washington, October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

PARIS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank must keep up its support for the economy in light of currently low inflation, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Thursday.

The bank, grappling with inflation that turned negative last month for the first time since May 2016, maintained earlier on Thursday its forecast for 0.3% inflation for the year as a whole, but said more months of negative price movements were yet to come.

“The ECB’s monetary policy must continue to support economic activity, for the sake of its own mandate of price stability,” Villeroy, who is also head of the French central bank, said in a speech in Berlin.

“In the short and medium term, the crisis will have disinflationary effects that are already noticeable,” he added.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Hugh Lawson