Lagarde Urges Europe to Continue Fiscal Cooperation With ECB

Lagarde Urges Europe to Continue Fiscal Cooperation With ECB

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde called for continued cooperation between monetary officials and governments as the euro area moves into the next phase of its rebound from the coronavirus slump.

“Given the state of recovery we’re in, we have to continue to work hand-in-hand -- fiscal policy, monetary policy,” Lagarde said Thursday at an event in Paris. Government support should become increasingly targeted and focus on measures to “increase the productivity of all economic agents,” she added.

The euro area has rebounded strongly since most coronavirus restrictions were lifted, though recent data point to slowing momentum. Uncertainties are also increasing because factories are hampered by stubborn supply-chain problems and the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“We’re back from the brink, but we’re not out of the woods,” Lagarde said. “The recovery is clearly under way, and probably more so and faster so than we had anticipated only six months ago.”

The ECB last week decided to moderately slow the pace of bond buying under its 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.2 trillion) pandemic program, while indicating that more fundamental decisions about the future of its stimulus tools will be taken in December. The European Union has meanwhile started rolling out an 800 billion-euro stimulus plan to help economies rebound.

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