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ECB to keep policy accommodative until inflation recovers: Villeroy

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who is also governor of the French central bank, attends the Paris Europlace International Financial Forum in Tokyo, Japan, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is committed to keeping monetary policy loose until inflation returns to its target, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Monday.

Villeroy, who is also governor of the Bank of France, said that euro zone inflation was expected to ease over the course of this year before it begins to gradually recover.

“We are clearly determined to maintain an ample degree of monetary accommodation for as long as necessary to reach our target of inflation below but close to 2 percent,” Villeroy told a conference sponsored by the Paris Europlace New York.

The Eurostat European statistics agency estimated euro zone inflation eased in March to 1.4%, while core inflation, which excludes volatile items like energy, slipped to 0.8%.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Writing by Leigh Thomas in PARIS; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama