IMF head says policy tips not reserved for European Central Bank

WASHINGTON, April 6 Sun Apr 6, 2014 11:50am EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) - The head of the International Monetary Fund dismissed a European central banker's recent remark that the IMF weighs in at his agency more than others such as the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"We do say what we have to say when we think that it's appropriate to say it," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in an interview that aired on Fox News on Sunday.

Lagarde brushed aside remarks made last week by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who told reporters the IMF was "extremely generous in its suggestions" regarding his bank's policy decisions - more so than with other central banks.

He was referring to comments Lagarde had made on Wednesday, one day before the ECB's monthly policy meeting. She said the bank should ease monetary policy to help prices to rise, prompting Draghi to question the timing of her comments.

Lagarde told Maria Bartiromo, host of the Fox program Sunday Morning Futures, that those comments were nothing new and that IMF has said for several months that the ECB should be wary of low inflation.

"I believe that, with the risk of low inflation as we see it, it would be extremely helpful if the monetary policy was addressing it," Lagarde said.

"I'm sure that the head of the European Central Bank will have the wisdom to identify what is best and when it should be done."

The ECB left its policies unchanged last week. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson)

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