Liikanen Declines Comment on Outlook for ECB Interest Rates

European Central Bank council member Erkki Liikanen declined to comment on the outlook for interest rates, saying only that policy makers will take the latest data into account when they meet on July 5.

“As you all know, we don’t comment on monetary policy decisions,” Liikanen, who heads Finland’s central bank, said at a press briefing in Helsinki today. “We will discuss these issues based on the most recent data when we look at both economic factors and factors of money and credit.”

While the ECB last week held its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent, President Mario Draghi said “a few” policy makers called for a cut, fueling speculation the bank could act as soon as next month as the sovereign debt crisis curbs growth and damps price pressures.

Asked if the ECB could lower its deposit rate to zero from its current level of 0.25 percent, Liikanen said: “We will have our policy meeting in early July, as you already know, and will make decisions based on the most recent information. I don’t pre-commit, that is, I don’t give any guidance for it.”

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