December 27, 2019 / 10:44 AM / a month ago

ECB's Holzmann: Return to positive interest rates in 2020 unlikely

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank policymaker and Austrian National Bank (OeNB) Governor Robert Holzmann attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Robert Holzmann said the bank was unlikely to be in a position to lift interest rates back into positive territory in 2020, with Brexit likely to be a renewed source of concern at the end of the year.

“I do not expect a turnaround to a positive interest rate environment next year,” Holzmann, who heads the Austrian central bank, said in a statement on Friday.

He said concern would grow again next December when Britain’s transition period for its withdrawal from the European Union is due to end. “There is little time for negotiations on future relations, and the outcome of the negotiations is open.”

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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