ECB can do groundwork on growth, says Finnish PM

Alexander Stubb would welcome QE ‘with a smile’

Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte (L), speaks next to Alexander Stubb (R), prime minister of Finland at the World Economic Forum. Photograph: EPA

Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte (L), speaks next to Alexander Stubb (R), prime minister of Finland at the World Economic Forum. Photograph: EPA

 

European governments seeking to boost growth will be happy to let the European Central Bank lay the groundwork, according to Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb.

“Whatever the ECB does on QE today, we welcome it with a smile,” Mr Stubb said on a panel in the World Economic Forum in Davos, referring to asset purchases, or quantitative easing, that ECB President Mario Draghi will probably announce on Thursday.

Governments can no longer afford to spend to spur the economy, Mr Stubb said.

“I don’t think you can stimulate an economy on the basis of debt - we’ve come to the end of the road on that one,” he said.

The ECB is considering a quantitative easing program that may exceed €1 trillion to stave off deflation in the 19-country currency area. Paring down spending habits is proving hard amid record-low yields that encourage governments to take on more debt.

“The worry is we will slow down fiscal consolidation,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on the same panel, which also included the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. “We have to step up fiscal consolidation. We are vulnerable. We take too much time to implement necessary measures.”

Bloomberg