Eurogroup’s Centeno Says Slowdown Is Temporary, Political Action Is Needed

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The euro area’s economic slowdown is temporary though political action is needed to address risks that have been accumulating, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said.

The European Commission earlier on Tuesday cut its growth forecasts for the euro area and slashed its projection for Germany, as it warned that escalating trade tensions threaten to make the outlook even worse.

“The Commission’s forecasts show that this slowdown is temporary,’’ Centeno said on Tuesday in an interview from Brussels with Bloomberg Television’s Alix Steel and David Westin. “We must act politically, take decisions very quickly on issues that have been accumulating risks in the last one or two years.’’

Centeno, who is Portugal’s finance minister and chairs meetings of his euro-region counterparts, said he’s urged politicians to take clear decisions on trade and Brexit. The euro area also has to prove it’s able to make progress on reforms, and the risks that have accumulated in some countries over fiscal performance need to be be reduced, he said.

“This is not an issue of the fundamentals of the euro area,” Centeno said. “The fundamentals are strong. We need to take political action at this stage.”

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