ECB rate cut next week under discussion-Nowotny

VIENNA Tue May 27, 2014 6:49am EDT

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VIENNA May 27 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will discuss next week what steps it might need - including a rate cut - to keep a euro zone economic recovery from sputtering out, ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Tuesday.

"There is a discussion that goes in this direction," he told reporters when asked about prospects for an ECB rate cut. He was speaking on the sidelines of a news conference on the annual report of the Austrian National Bank, of which he is governor.

He said the ECB and International Monetary Fund had discussed at a conference this week "a situation where inflation rates are so low that there is a danger of economic growth being held back. We will discuss which measures we can take here."

Nowotny, who was reappointed last year to a six-year term atop the Austrian central bank, dismissed media speculation he could step down early and make way for ex-ECB Executive Board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell to take his place.

Asked if he would serve his term until 2019, he said: "Of course. There is no reason to see it any other way." (Reporting by Michael Shields and Angelika Gruber, Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

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