February 7, 2019 / 7:27 PM / 7 months ago

Euro zone slowdown deeper, longer than thought: ECB's Coeure

FILE PHOTO - Benoit Coeure, board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), is photographed during an interview with Reuters journalists at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The euro zone’s economic slowdown may be longer and deeper than earlier thought but it is not clear that the currency bloc has entered a lasting downturn, European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure was quoted on Thursday as saying.

“We don’t think that we have enough elements to conclude that we’re facing a lasting and serious slowdown of the euro zone economy,” Coeure told Barron’s in an interview. “What we’re seeing now is that the slowdown may be broader and longer-lasting than originally forecast.”

Coeure added that the ECB still had instruments to fight a slowdown and policymakers could also invent new tools to combat an unexpected situation.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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