June 19, 2018 / 11:36 AM / in 10 months

Trade tensions clear downward risk: ECB'S Smets

FILE PHOTO - Belgian central bank governor Jan Smets answers a reporter's question during an interview with Reuters in Brussels, Belgium, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

LONDON (Reuters) - Escalating global trade tensions are “clearly a downward risk” for the world economy, European Central Bank policymaker Jan Smets said on Tuesday.

“In the euro zone we consider the risks for growth to be balanced, but in the global environment - and due in particular to this trade issue - the risks are more on the downward side and a little bit worrying,” Smets, who heads Belgium’s national central bank, said in a CNBC interview. “Basically it is not good news.”

He added that although the ECB said last week that it would not raise interest rates for at least a year, it was too early to say when exactly it could lift them.

Reporting by Marc Jones

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