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BRIEFLY / EUROPEAN COMMUNITY

EU Central Banker Hints at Possible Rate Cut

November 28, 1998|Bloomberg News

European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg, citing slowing growth and record low inflation on the continent, sent a signal the bank may set aside differences with elected officials and cut interest rates soon. In a speech, Duisenberg laid out conditions for a rate cut that matched existing trends of slowing growth, low inflation and high unemployment. Analysts said the former Dutch central banker's comments meant the ECB is preparing to cut interest rates for the 11 nations joining Europe's single currency, possibly from an initial 3.3% to 3% in the first quarter. Duisenberg's remarks to a banking conference came after German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, a vocal advocate of lower rates, recently softened his calls for the ECB to trim borrowing costs.

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