Euro zone economy won't turn corner before autumn: ECB's Vasiliauskas

FILE PHOTO: Lithuanian Central Bank governor Vitas Vasiliauskas attends a news conference in Vilnius, Lithuania June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Struggling under the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the euro zone economy will need at least until the autumn to turn a corner, outgoing Lithuanian central bank chief Vitas Vasiliauskas told reporters on Friday.

Asked when the European Central Bank could dial back emergency bond purchases, Vasiliauskas said this could only happen when the recovery is underway and the economy is off life support.

“The turning the turning point would be when we see clearly that growth returns to track and the economy breathes on its own,” Vasiliauskas, a member of the ECB’s Governing Council said. “It’s difficult to see this before the autumn.”

Vasiliauskas leaves office in early April and Thursday’s ECB policy meeting was his last on the Governing Council.

Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Writing by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa