ECB sees rising risks to global growth

Labourers load food items into a delivery lorry near a main market in Colombo, Sri Lanka June 8,2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The outlook for global growth has weakened in recent weeks and risks are skewed to the downside, due in part to increased protectionism, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

“The near-term prospects of greater trade protectionism have increased, which could have a significant impact on global activity and trade,” the ECB said in its regular economic bulletin.

“Other downside risks relate to the possibility of a further tightening of global financial conditions, disruptions associated with China’s reform process and geopolitical uncertainties associated, in particular, with Brexit-related risks.”

The comments were broadly consistent with its statement after its June 14 policy meeting.

This month the ECB said it would end its 2.6 trillion euro bond purchase program by the close of the year but planned to keep rates on hold at least through next summer, pushing out rate hike expectations.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by John Stonestreet