Lagarde: the ECB lowers the 2021 GDP estimate for the Eurozone to + 3.9%
Lagarde: "Start immediately next-generation package. Second wave slows recovery, services affected"
Lagarde: "The ECB is looking seriously at introducing the digital euro"
13 January 2021 The recovery of the European economy, with an estimated + 3.9% growth in 2021, will depend on the speed of vaccinations and lockdowns, but also on the speed with which the funds of the Next generation Eu package will be disbursed.
ECB president Christine Lagarde said this at the 'Reuters next' forum.
"We have to be fast because we clearly need a steady fiscal and monetary boost," Lagarde said.
For this reason, the Recovery Fund "must proceed swiftly and efficiently, on the basis of the national plans, some already presented and ready to be evaluated, there will be criticisms and shortcomings, but the work is progressing. We hope that the loans start quickly".
If a greater financial commitment is needed through purchases for the pandemic emergency (Pepp), the ECB is ready to "recalibrate" the program, but if there is no need to spend the entire amount planned so far, equal to 1,850 billion, this it will not be spent, Lagarde said.
"I think our latest December projections are still valid," provided the restrictions are lifted by the end of March, said ECB President Christine Lagarde, attending the 'Reuters Next' online event.
"Our forecasts are based - he added - on blocking measures until the end of the first quarter".
And it would be "worrying" if these brakes on economic activity continued into the second quarter.
The ECB in December estimated a recovery of the Eurozone's GDP of 3.9% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022.
"I think the digital euro will happen" even if not in the immediate future.
"I would say in no more than five years," said the president of the ECB.
Lagarde then warned that Bitcoin "is a speculative asset from all points of view" and "must be regulated".