Too early for the ECB to contemplate coronavirus response: Makhlouf

FILE PHOTO: A euro logo sculpture stands in front the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt October 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - It is too early for the European Central Bank to assess whether it needs to respond to the coronavirus epidemic with policy, even if the epidemic presents a risk to growth, Irish central bank chief Gabriel Makhlouf said on Wednesday.

“I still think it is too early to come to a view on what we at the European Central Bank should do about coronavirus,” he told a conference in Berlin, adding that all attention should be focused on supporting the health system.

“Right now, other than paying attention, I am not sure we have to rush to action,” Makhlouf, who sits on the ECB’s rate-setting Governing Council said.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Madeline Champers; Writing by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Hugh Lawson