ECONOMY

Papademos sees robust growth in next quarters

DELPHI – The eurozone economy is likely to continue growing robustly, European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos said yesterday. «Currently, the euro area economy enjoys a solid and broad-based recovery and growth is expected to remain robust in the coming quarters,» he said in a speech in Delphi. Papademos’s economic assessment is very close to that given by ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet at the start of the month, and Papademos’s view on the growing use of the euro in foreign trade and investment was also in line with past ECB comments. «When economic agents outside the euro area choose the euro as their preferred currency, this testifies to the trust they place in its stability and credibility,» he said in the speech to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which laid the basis for the European Union. «We consider the global use of the euro as a market-driven process. Therefore the ECB takes a ‘neutral’ view on the international role of the euro – it neither hinders nor encourages its global use.» The euro hit a fresh record high against the dollar earlier yesterday, and remains close to recent historic peaks against the yen. The ECB’s Governing Council will next confer and set interest rates on August 2, when analysts expect them to keep rates on hold at 4 percent. Most analysts expect rates to rise further in September, however, to a six-year high of 4.25 percent.