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ECB's Lane says containing virus is priority

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Gary He/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Containing the coronavirus must be a priority for policymakers as a surge in infections would damage consumer and investor confidence in the economy, the European Central Bank’s chief economist Philip Lane said on Thursday.

“The first priority is to contain the virus – if there is a sustained surge in cases, this will damage consumer and investor confidence,” Lane said during an exchange on Twitter.

“The baseline scenario in our staff projections indeed factors in that a medical solution is found over the course of next year,” he added. “This would support a recovery in the service sector and put upward pressure on service sector inflation.”

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Balazs Koranyi

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