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ECB's Makuch - board discussions moving more to rates from asset buying

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12/19/2017 | 02:36pm CEST
The European Central Bank headquarters are pictured in Frankfurt

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Discussions on the European Central Bank board are shifting towards the use of interest rates rather than asset buying at the main tool for regulating the economy, Governing Council member Jozef Makuch said on Tuesday.

The central bank last week stuck to its promise to keep the money taps open for the euro zone economy for as long as needed, despite opposition from some rate-setters and increased growth and inflation forecasts for the bloc.

"It is true that the economic expansion seems stable and very nice, and inflation has been, although at a mild pace, coming closer to our targets," Makuch told reporters.

"Due to that we have modified the asset purchases, and the discussions are more and more shifting from asset purchases to possible future use of interest rates to regulate the economy."

He said he could not rule out that the bank will at some point give a signal about future interest rate-setting, though he did not elaborate.

(Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Writing by Robert Muller; Editing by John Stonestreet and Hugh Lawson)

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