No alternative to low rates for now, ECB's Draghi says

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi speaks during a news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Low interest rates are not harmless but they are only the symptom, not the cause of an underlying problem across major economies, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Monday, arguing that there was no alternative for now.

“Thus the second part of the answer to raising rates of return is clear: continued expansionary policies until excess slack in the economy has been reduced and inflation dynamics are sustainably consistent again with price stability,” Draghi told a conference. “There is simply no alternative to this today.”

“The only potential margin for maneuver is in the composition of the policy mix, that is, the balance of monetary and fiscal policy,” he added.

Reporting by Francesco Canepa and Balazs Koranyi; editing by John O’Donnell