ECB sees some risks to outlook from fresh pandemic wave

Friday, July 23, 2021
ECB sees some risks to outlook from fresh pandemic wave © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A fresh wave of the coronavirus pandemic could pose a risk to the euro zone's economic recovery, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday, after the bank hinted at an even longer period of monetary support.

The Delta variant, a more contagious strand of the coronavirus, is becoming dominant in Europe, causing a resurgence of cases even in countries with relatively high vaccination rates.

The ECB still considers risks to the economy "broadly balanced", Lagarde told a news conference, although the outlook continues to depend on the course of the pandemic and the progress of vaccination programmes across Europe.

"The reopening of large parts of the economy is supporting a vigorous bounce-back in the services sector. But the Delta variant of the coronavirus could dampen this recovery in services especially, in tourism and hospitality," Lagarde said.

The ECB said at its June 10 meeting that it now saw risks to growth as "broadly balanced", rather than tilted to the downside. Some policymakers even argued that the bank was underestimating how quickly the bloc would recover through the summer months as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

Lagarde said the ECB's staff economic forecasts, unveiled at that June meeting, had included an assumption that some measures to contain the coronavirus would continue through the third and fourth quarters of 2021. Governments and citizens had become better able to cope with the pandemic during its successive waves, she added.

A fresh wave of coronavirus infections could potentially prolong the ECB's emergency stimulus measures, which are due to end next March.

The ECB has long said that the 1.85 trillion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme will run as long as there is an emergency and with less than half of euro zone citizens fully vaccinated, the bloc appears especially at risk.

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24-07-2021 11:10:07 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1773Neutral
 GBP/USD1.3747↑ Sell
 USD/JPY110.56↑ Buy
 AUD/USD0.7365Buy
 USD/CAD1.2560Neutral
 EUR/JPY130.16↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF1.0827↑ Buy
 Gold1,801.90↑ Sell
 Silver25.235↑ Sell
 Copper4.4553Neutral
 Crude Oil WTI72.17↑ Buy
 Brent Oil74.20↑ Buy
 Natural Gas4.046Neutral
 US Coffee C191.88↑ Buy
 Euro Stoxx 504,109.10↑ Buy
 S&P 5004,411.80↑ Sell
 DAX15,669.29↑ Buy
 FTSE 1007,027.58Neutral
 Hang Seng27,284.87Neutral
 Small Cap 20002,209.41↑ Buy
 IBEX 358,717.20↑ Sell
 BASF67.030Neutral
 Bayer51.20↑ Buy
 Allianz210.50↑ Buy
 Adidas317.70↑ Buy
 Lufthansa9.849↑ Sell
 Siemens AG134.65↑ Buy
 Deutsche Bank AG10.590↑ Buy
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