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IMF economist: ECB may want to cut rates

IMF economist: ECB may want to cut rates (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Though it's "still a bit early," the European Central Bank may want to move to reduce interest rates if downside risks persist, said Jorg Decressin, a senior advisor in the International Monetary Fund's research department, at a press conference following the publication of the IMF's world economic outlook. The ECB this year made two quarter-point rate hikes, to 1.5%. On Italy, which was downgraded by Standard & Poor's, he said the main problem is that the growth rate is still relatively low. The Italian government needs to implement its plans on fiscal consolidation as well as embark on structural reforms to boost growth, he added.