April 28, 2016 / 11:02 AM / 3 years ago

ECB's Nowotny can't say exactly when inflation will pick up

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny addresses a news conference in Vienna, Austria, January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - The European Central Bank’s current policy aimed at spurring inflation should have the desired effect in the second half of the year, ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Thursday, but it is not possible to say exactly when.

The ECB has been fighting ultra-low inflation, which has hovered either side of zero for the past year, hoping that asset buys and negative rates will fuel growth.

“One cannot give an exact answer,” Nowotny told a news conference when asked how long it would take for the measures to take effect.

Two ECB policymakers played down the need for more stimulus in the near term on Wednesday, calling for people to be patient and wait for existing measures to take effect.

“What we can say is that a collapse into deflation has been avoided. We currently see an increase in the inflation rate of the desired extent in the second half of the year,” he added.

Reporting by Francois Murphy

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