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FSN: IMF’s Lagarde Says Euro Crisis Not Solved, Demands Pre-Emptive Action From ECB

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 22:46
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Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, says it is premature to declare the eurozone crisis over

by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The International Monetary Fund has poured cold water over claims that the eurozone is safely recovering, calling on the European Central Bank to take pre-emptive action to alleviate the credit crunch for small business and head off the risk of deflation.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, said it is “premature to declare victory”, warning that EU governments may have to ditch austerity policies and switch to fiscal stimulus to kick-start growth and avert lasting damage to the underlying economy.

“Looking past the headlines, there are clearly signs that not all is well,” she told a forum in Brussels, highlighting the risk of a “vicious cycle” in which depressed demand and stagnant investment feed on each other.

The warning came as fresh data showed Greece’s recovery may be stalling again, with mounting risks of a relapse into recession over the winter. The Greek statistics office said industrial output had fallen 5.2pc in October, a sharp deterioration from minus 1.3pc in September.

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