ECB chief: World economy hits demand for eurozone goods

Eurozone’s weak growth stems from global factors, says European Central Bank’s president

Demand for eurozone goods and services has fallen due to the global economic outlook, the president of the European Central Bank said Monday.

The global economy, which still faces uncertainties and slowdown, has impacted business confidence and investment in the euro area, Christine Lagarde said.

Noting that the eurozone has suffered from a weak growth rate — 0.2% in the third quarter on a quarterly basis, she added: “This weakness has been mainly due to global factors.”

She stressed that the eurozone’s manufacturing sector has been the most severely hit by worldwide developments.

Digital currencies

Lagarde said the European Central Bank was conducting research on digital currencies, including a project named Stella that sought to investigate “innovations that can facilitate safer, faster and cheaper financial transactions.”

“We must ensure that stablecoins do not compromise the safety and efficiency of the payment system or the soundness and stability of the financial and monetary system,” she underlined.

Stablecoins are types of digital currencies with stable value which are backed by a reserve asset, such as the U.S. dollar.

She said: “A central bank digital currency would allow citizens to use central bank money directly in their daily transactions. However, depending on its design, a central bank digital currency could pose risks.”

“Our ultimate goal is to foster safer, innovative and integrated payments in euro,” she added.

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