European Central Bank policy actions have had a clear positive impact on the eurozone economy, but member states still need to adopt structural reforms to support the recovery, ECB Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen said.

Liikanen, who is also the governor of Finland’s central bank, noted that determined action by member states would allow the ECB’s bond-buying programme and low interest rates to exert the best possible benefit.

“Monetary policy decisions and the measures taken have already had a clear, positive impact on the economic outlook,” he said yesterday.

The need for structural reforms was particularly clear “in countries where the working-age population is no longer growing or is actually decreasing,” he said, adding that reforms were needed especially in product and labour markets.

Liikanen, who made his comments in conjunction with Bank of Finland’s forecast update for international economy, added that the accommodative monetary policy could cause imbalances on some markets and areas, and called for readiness in member states to use their macroprudential tools.

The Bank of Finland kept its forecast for GDP growth in the EU-22 – the eurozone states plus Britain, Sweden and Denmark – unchanged at 1.6 per cent for this year and 1.9 per cent for 2016.

Its forecast for EU-22 inflation was zero for this year, 1.1 per cent for 2016 and 1.7 per cent for 2017.


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