ECB’s Visco Says There’s a Risk of a Recession in Europe
European Central Bank Governing Council member Ignazio Visco warned that there may be an economic downturn in Europe.
The central bank’s decision to hike interest rates by 50 basis points last week allows policy makers to make data-dependent choices at future meetings, said Visco, who heads Italy’s central bank.
Economists from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan this week both predicted that the euro area will succumb to a recession this year, with the latter saying this would also stymie ECB rate hikes past October.
Questioned about how the Governing Council would react to political turmoil in Italy, Visco said the ECB wouldn’t dictate policies to governments. Officials would stand ready to intervene in markets if spreads widen to an extent not justified by policy.
Italy will hold early elections on Sept. 25 after a unity government headed by former ECB President Mario Draghi collapsed last week. At the ballot, a right-wing coalition could score a landslide victory that would allow it to change the constitution, according to a leading pollster.