November 28, 2017 / 1:13 PM / a year ago

Italy is ready to deal with an end of QE -Padoan

Italy's Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan takes part in a European Union finance ministers' meeting in Brussels, Belgium November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

ROME (Reuters) - Italy is ready for when the European Central Bank ends its quantitative easing programme, Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Tuesday.

The ECB is preparing to dial back its monetary stimulus after years of ultra-low interest rates and massive bond purchases, paving the ground for rate hikes further down the line.

Padoan told a conference in Rome that the positive impact of higher interest rates, if this reflected a pick-up in inflation, should not be underestimated.

“Even if budget policy benefits from low rates, I would like to reiterate that Italy is totally prepared for an end to a low-rate environment. The end of QE does not frighten us. There are positive aspects to this that shouldn’t be played down,” he said.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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