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ECB’s Nowotny Has ‘Japanese Fears’ as Global Growth Slows Down

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said he is afraid of entering a period of slow growth and low inflation similar to the 1990s development in Japan, according to an interview in Austrian daily newspaper WirtschaftsBlatt.

Asked if he sees inflationary dangers, Nowotny was quoted as saying: “My personal fears are focused on a different direction, a Japanese one.” That means a “long-term period of limited economic growth combined with low inflation rates,” he added in the interview.

Nowotny said that while he didn’t expect the global economy to contract again, he couldn’t rule out that growth would slow down around the world, beginning with the U.S. “From today’s point of view, another recession such as a double dip is unlikely,” he said. “What can’t be ruled out is that we will see a global economic growth slowdown.”

While Europe’s “stability core,” including Germany, Austria and some of its neighbors, is still developing positively, “we have learned that a permanent decoupling can’t be expected,” he said.

Nowotny, who also heads Austria’s central bank, said he didn’t see the risk of an “abrupt crash” comparable to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings in 2008. “The situation is tense but not acute,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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