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News : EU Economy Last Updated: May 6, 2011 - 7:50 AM

Trichet avoids code “strong vigilance” signaling no rate hike in June; Says support for Ireland without "precedent"
By Finfacts Team
May 5, 2011 - 5:54 PM

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European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, Helsinki, May 05, 2011

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet today signaled that the central bank will not hike the benchmark rate in June, despite the rise in commodity-induced inflationary pressures. He said ECB support for Ireland was without precedent.

“We are never pre-committed and we can increase rates whenever we judge it appropriate,” Trichet said at a press conference in Helsinki after the ECB's governing council kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.25%. He avoided using the code “strong vigilance” that would have signaled a June rate rise, saying only that the ECB will monitor inflation risks
“very closely.”

Eurozone inflation rose to an annual 2.8% in April, according to the latest EU estimate.

The Eurozone economy is expected to grow 1.7% this year and 1.8% in 2012, according to ECB forecasts. Inflation will average 2.3% in 2011 and 1.7% in 2012, the staff forecast March. Updated projections are due in June.

At his press conference, Trichet said the level of commitment of the Eurosystem to Ireland, has no precedent.

"The facts speak by themselves," he said with emphasis.

IMF mission head Poul Thomsen said today that Portugal's economy will face "significant headwinds in the next three years" and is expected to contract by 2% in 2011 and 2012 before returning to growth in the first half of 2013.

Trichet said about Portugal: "We are confident. Of course it calls for the present government ... and future governments to do the job."

On Greece, Trichet ruled out any idea of Greece's restructuring its debts. Asked Greece might have to get more lenient terms from its debt holders, Trichet said: "We consider it's not in the cards."

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